Jun 21, 2014 News
Of the four Chinese construction companies vying for a major Ministry of Public Works project to widen the East Coast Demerara (ECD) public road, the contract was awarded to the company with the lowest bid: China Railway First Group Company Limited. This company is also the contractor for the Amaila Falls Hydro-Electric Project.
Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr. Roger Luncheon announced recently that Cabinet gave its no objection to the award of US $42.7 M contract for the road widening and upgrading of the ECD road from Better Hope to Belfield in Region Four.
China Railway actually put in a bid for US$46.9M. China Harbour Engineering Co. Ltd, the contractor in the US$150M expansion of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, submitted a bid for US$60.4M ($12B).
Meanwhile, China National Machinery Import/Export Company Limited, the company that was involved in the construction of the problematic US$200M Skeldon expansion project, submitted a proposal for US$55.6M ($11B).
The highest bid came from China State Construction Engineering Corporation for US$71.4M. The Engineer’s estimate for the project was US$57.6M.
Apparently there is a disparity between China Railway First Group Company Limited’s bid of US $46.9M and the US$42.7M which was awarded. Chief Works Officer (CWO) of the Ministry of Public Works, Jeffrey Vaughn pronouncing on the issue said that the reason for this difference could possibly be because “there was a change in the cost because they have to do cross checks and they realized that there were errors in the bill.” He said it is obvious that the price was reduced from US$46.9M to US$42.7M (8.7B)”.
According to Vaughn, evaluators have to cross check their figures. “That’s how evaluations are done… the first thing that has to be done you have to cross check tenders to make sure that the bills submitted by the contractor is correct, all multiplications and additions have to be done correctly, if there is any variation we would put the variation and put what is the right amount.”
He outlined that the Chinese firm is doing the complete project from Better Hope to Belfield “of that you will have a four lane road from Better Hope to Annandale and then there will be an upgraded road from Buxton to Belfield.”
Upgraded, according to Vaughn means that there will be sidewalks for persons to walk on, “But if you are to do a four lane you will have to remove the people who are living there, therefore you will have to be taking in private land from where persons have their private property which we don’t want.”
According to the CWO, “we will do the four lanes up to where we have space.” He outlined that this will not affect the flow of traffic since “we have four lane roads that merge into two and there are no hiccups… it’s just that you have to do a proper transition so the road would not have any fault to create a buildup of traffic.”
Vaughn said that the works that are currently ongoing on the E.C.D road by local contractors such as Dipcon Engineering Services and Courtney Benn Contracting Services are for the drains and not the road, which will be done by the Chinese firm. “The contracts that you are talking about were temporary works to the drain so that is preliminary. This is for the drains which are ongoing but no contract was ever issued for the roads” he said.
The E.C.D widening project will be one of the costliest in recent times in terms of infrastructural works, after the ongoing CJIA and Marriott.
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