Since 2015, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MPI) made it clear that it will not spend a cent more on the expansion of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).
In fact, it said it placed monetary sanctions on the contractor, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC).
However, the Opposition doubts the story.
According to at least one piece of document in the hands of the Opposition, more than US$6.7M was paid and it appears to be an addition to the US$150M tag price for the project.
The People’s Progressive Party government, whose brainchild the project is, is demanding the MPI and Minister David Patterson to explain.
According to the ‘Contemplative Change Notice/Change Order Form, in late 2015, months after the Coalition Government took office, the value of the change order was US$6,784,453.61.
“Contemplated Change Notice/Change Order to the abovementioned contract between China Harbour Engineering Company Limited, “Contractor” and Ministry of Public Works and Communications, “Employer”.
This Change Order covers all costs associated with the proposed change in the work described. No further costs will be submitted for this scope or any perceived accumulative effect of changes on productivity, costs and times.”
The reason for the change, according to the document, is “additional project costs due to extending the project to the negotiated date of December 1, 2017.”
The change order was signed by representatives of the Ministry, its Works Services Group, CJIA, CHEC, and the consultants, CEMCO and MMM Group.
According to Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, earlier this year, the contract signed by his administration in late 2011, is very clear…It is a fixed price contract that does not involved any legroom for further negotiations.
“It is a fix price contract. What we are getting is not what we envisioned. We signed for a brand new terminal building and longer runway…not a renovated airport.”
The issue is threatening to become a major one in the elections campaign.
General elections are due on March 2nd.
In 2011, a contract for US$138M was signed with CHEC by the outgoing Bharrat Jagdeo administration.
However, after delays, in 2015, the new Coalition Government halted the project. After an assessment, works restarted. It was disclosed that almost US$90M was paid in 2015 under the PPP/C government for less than 25 percent of the work done.
It became clear that there would not be a brand-new airport terminal as envisioned by the contract. Rather, the old terminal building was gutted and renovated.
The project has been plagued by delays and problems…from leaks to toilets to the closing off of the passenger bridges due to an unstable foundation.
Over the weekend, when contacted, Minister Patterson made it clear that the Opposition is clutching at straws as there are no extra costs.
He said that the documents being placed in the public domain are ones that his Ministry had submitted to the opposition.
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