Dec 04, 2015 News
…asks to be left out of ‘political guiles’
By Abena Rockcliffe
China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), the company contracted to modernize and expand the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), has refuted claims by former President, Bharrat Jagdeo. It is now seeking to “set the record
CHEC said that it has taken “very seriously” the allegations made against it with regard to the CJIA expansion project.
At his most recent press conference, Jagdeo said that CHEC was at odds with the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) government. He said that the difference was over CHEC’s request for more money to complete the project, but that PPP/C denied the request.
CHEC noted yesterday that in 2012, it entered into discussions with the PPP/C government for the expansion of the airport. The contract was later signed “without any disagreement or issues.”
The company said, however, that during the execution of the project “variations were required due to the discovery of unforeseen ground geotechnical conditions that were not compliant with Global FIDIC Contract Conditions.”
As a result, CHEC began discussions regarding the need for variation to the contract due to the extra work discovered.
According to CHEC, it later worked out an agreement regarding the way forward with the PPP/C and later the APNU+AFC administration. “CHEC categorically denies that there was ever any disagreement in negotiations. All parties were aware of the issue and agreed to amend the proposals.”
CHEC said that it is committed to providing Guyana with a modern, first class airport facility.
The company added, “We do not wish to become embroiled in political guiles. There have been several delays during the life of this project, none of which has been due to actions on the part of China Harbour Engineering.”
CHEC’s statement to the effect that it had no fall out with the PPP government contradicts what Jagdeo recently told the media.
Jagdeo suggested that the new government is allowing the nation to be robbed.
He said that the PPP government was having problems with CHEC since the firm was attempting to shortchange the nation. He also said that CHEC was requiring more money, but the PPP turned down the request.
“Before the election they (the then Opposition) said that the PPP overestimated the price (of the project). But after the election the (government) said that we underestimated it by US$45M.”
Jagdeo told the media on Saturday that CHEC had asked the PPP government to increase the contract price by US$45M but the PPP government had denied that request.
“We had said no, that it is a design and build contract. You (CHEC) did the geotechnical surveys so you bear that risk and you have to fulfill the original specification for the sum of money,” said Jagdeo.
He said that because of this, there was a “deadlock” between CHEC and the PPP govt.
“This government moved ahead with the project but we have not heard on what conditions. What I have been hearing is that the footprint of the terminal building has reduced and the number of bridges to the aircraft has been reduced drastically.”
The Opposition Leader said that while the nation is not footing a higher bill, it is being given reduced facilities “so in net effect, (the government) has acceded to the request because you are getting less being built for that money we had approved.”
Contacted yesterday for a response to CHEC’s statements Jagdeo said, “I do not which to respond to a private company. Why doesn’t the government release the details of the renegotiated contract? I will speak further on the matter at my next press conference.”
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