The state-owned Guyana Water Inc. (GWI) says it is grappling with a major problem of ensuring that materials its uses for its projects meet the necessary standards.
The company is calling for local manufactures to get fully on board.
Soon, both GWI and employees of contractors with which the entity does business, will have to be certified.
The disclosures were made Friday during the half-year update.
The company was questioned about its efforts to recover costs from contractors who fail on their projects, especially in laying pipes and drilling wells.
In recent years, contractor BK International ran into problems with two wells- one at Eccles, budgeted for $84M, and another at Mon Repos. The majority of the monies have been paid to the contractor but the wells are not commissioned yet, about four years later, because problems with casings and the screens.
According to Managing Director, Dr. Richard Van West Charles, investigations found that BK could not be faulted on the Eccles well, as the contractor worked according to designs.
The official disclosed that GWI has started now to assess contractors also after they have completed their work.
But sometimes contractors do experience cash flow problems.
Recently, a contract for the laying of HDPE pipes on Vlissengen Road, for over $100M, was found to be way behind. The matter came to the fore after three breakages occurred exacerbating the situation. The contractor was summoned and the matter is being resolved, Dr. Van West Charles said.
The official disclosed that one of the issues that GWI faces as a company, in terms of the materials that comes from abroad, is that there is no way to test.
There is just no installed capacity. Although a contractor can produce a manufacturer’s certificate attesting to quality, it does little to help the situation.
He urged the locals to get more on board, ensuring that the standards are the best.
With regards to the building of GWI’s in house capacity, the Managing Director disclosed that it is looking at the Brazilian technologies.
The army of that neighbouring country is helping to drill several wells in Region Nine to battle drought problems.
The problem with capacity would be further highlighted by the discovery that designs using the wrong cases have caused 18 wells on the coastlands to be at a critical stage.
GWI has imported about $40M worth of stainless steel casings to fix the integrity of the wells.
It is fixing the Eccles well so it can lend capacity to the treatment plant in that location. The addition of the well will allow 24-hour service in one of the most populated areas in the country.
GWI has also been sending staffers to Oklahoma, US, for training to drill wells.
According to the Managing Director, the idea is to eventually have the in-house capabilities for GWI to drill its own wells.
The company is looking to also work more with the Dutch who recently drilled three wells- at Diamond, Sophia and Sparendaam, at half the cost.
To boost the capacity of GWI, the company has also purchased a crane to conduct drilling operations.
A number of staffers are heading to Holland next month for training, too.
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