– Suriname stone suppliers dumped for local quarries
China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd. (CHEC) has given its assurance that the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) expansion project will be completed by its December 2017 deadline.
The project is progressing without any change to the original plan, according to several Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MPI) officials, including Minister David Patterson, during a media update/site visit yesterday.
The US$138M Contract for the expansion of the CJIA was signed on November 11, 2011 between the Government of Guyana (GoG) and CHEC. The project is being funded through the Export-Import Bank of China.
The Guyana Government procured the services of engineering consultants – the MMM Group and CEMCO Incorporated – and undertook the relocation of airport facilities, moving the total cost of the project to US$150M.
The Project commenced on January 16, 2013 and works were expected to last for 32 months making the initial completion date – September 16, 2015. However, due to several delays, the deadline was adjusted to December 1, 2017.
Payments certified to date, for the design and construction alone stands at US$79,013,707 with US$4,580,504 coming from local funding and US$74,433,203 from foreign funds.
The sum paid thus far for supervision and consultancy services, was announced at US$3,888,812 by Permanent Secretary (PS) of the MPI, Geoffrey Vaughn.
The PS reported also that the sum of US$2,283,370 has already been expended for the relocation of airport facilities.
In totality, the sum of US$85,185,888 has already been paid out. Of this sum, US$10,752,685 came from local funding and $74,433,203 from the EXIM Bank of China.
The sum of G$9B was allocated in the 2017 National Budget for the CJIA Project.
Minister Patterson told media operatives yesterday that the monies are almost depleted. Parliament will have to be approached for a supplementary he said.
He clarified that this supplementary will in no way, add to the overall cost of the project.
The runway, currently measuring 2270 metres (m), will be extended by 710 metres (m) to the north-east and 840m to the south-west.
The initial design of the runway catered for one end of the structure (northeast) to be extended. However, the contractor ran into problems after terrain was found to be not suitable for the full extension.
The design was subsequently amended to accommodate extensions on both ends of the runway.
The works on the south-western end of the runway is 80 percent complete with more backfilling needed. The engineer said that between 4,000,000 and 5,000,000 cubic metres (m3) of sand would have already been dropped on this end of the runway with an additional 1,000,000 m3 left to be dumped.
According to the consultant attached to the MMM Group, Tom Rosiewich, CHEC is utilising the vibroflotation technique to compact the sand. Vibroflotation is a ground improvement technique used at a considerable depth that by using a powered electrically or hydraulically probe to squirt water and vibrate the sand. The probes are hung vertically by cranes.
Rosiewich said that when the runway becomes active, the cranes have to withdraw and be positioned in such a way that they do not pose a threat to incoming or departing aircraft.
The northeast end of the runway is more advanced and would have seen approximately 3,000,000 m3 of sand dumped. The vibroflotation phase would have already been completed on this end. It is now ready for a three-foot-thick layer of loam, aggregate, cement-treated base layer and asphalt.
The thickness of the structure will differ from the thickness on the southeast end due to the soil conditions, Rosiewich explained.
As announced last year, the CJIA terminal building will be rehabilitated to accommodate Departures only. Works on this structure was announced at 10 percent complete yesterday.
Adjacent to this building, construction of the Arrivals building is ongoing. This building is currently 30 percent complete.
During the visit yesterday, it was noticed that the structure currently has in place steel beams, power-lines and sections of concrete decks. Sections of the roof are assembled below and with the aid of a crane, the parts are lifted and attached to the main structure.
According to CHEC Project Manager, Keliang Liu, the building will be completed by October – one month before the deadline. He noted also that materials have already been procured and will be delivered to the site shortly.
Meanwhile, a structure with the same dimensions of the existing Arrivals area is being constructed at the northeast end of the compound.
This building will be used as the temporary Arrivals building to allow for works to be uninterrupted on the new Arrivals building.
Minister Patterson said that after the structure would have served its purpose, it will remain available to the CJIA.
The project also caters for the construction of a new diesel generator room which is 45 percent complete; a new fire pump station and tanks, 60 percent complete; and a new boarding corridor with boarding bridges, 10 percent complete.
APRON AND TAXIWAY
The construction of the Apron and Taxiway is another vital aspect of the project. It was explained that with the extension of the runway, the apron and taxiway should be large enough to accommodate parking. Apron and Taxiway works will be completed by August this year. Works are currently five percent complete.
During yesterday’s proceedings, CHEC inked two multimillion-dollar contracts with local stone suppliers – BK Quarries and Toolsie Persaud Quarries – to provide an initial amount of some 95,000 tons of aggregate (stone).
The material is expected to be sourced locally to the tune of some US$3.4M.
This development comes on the heels of a previously quashed arrangement between CHEC and a Surinamese supplier, Grassalco, which was contracted to provide 300,000 tons of stone at a cost of over US$7M.
Local suppliers turned up the heat claiming that they were bypassed. According to Patterson, BK will supply approximately 50,000 tons at a contract price of US$1.8M while Toolsie Persaud Quarries will supply 45,000 tons of stone with a contract price of US$1.7M.
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