Aug 15, 2022 News
– Govt. now building storage bond, workshop
Kaieteur News – The Ministry of Public Works, has issued invitation for bids to undertake another project at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).
According to an advertisement, the ministry is seeking to construct a storage bond and workshop at CJIA. The engineer estimated that the project would cost some $37 million. Just recently, Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill disclosed that construction at the airport will continue even though Chinese contractor, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) has completed its part under the US$150 million airport expansion contract.
Kaieteur News had reported that with over US$166 million already pumped into the expansion of the airport – citizens should expect more of their taxpayers’ dollars going towards the ‘continued modernisation’ of the airport. The airport expansion contract was signed in 2011 under then President, Bharrat Jagdeo, and was passed through the truncated presidency of Donald Ramotar. However, when the David Granger administration took over in 2015, it said that the very defective plan needed adjustments and changes were made. The decade-old project was awarded to CHEC for the sum of US$150 million: $138 million from the China Exim Bank and $12 million from the consolidated fund – taxpayers’ money.
When the PPP administration took office in August 2020, Minister Edghill had stated that they were not satisfied with the work that was done by the contractor and as such, they had negotiated and got CHEC to do additional works at the airport at no cost to Guyana. The additional works that were done by the contractor included a superstructure, corridor and curtain wall. It was only recently that CHEC completed the works on the airport.
Notably, while the contract cost with the Chinese contractor remains at US$150M, the government is undertaking several multi-million upgrades to the airport which were separated into three parts. On Wednesday, during a press conference at the Ministry of Public Works boardroom – the Minister disclosed that the works being undertaken by the government at the airport, most of it should be completed within the next 18 months.
Notwithstanding, the current additional projects at CJIA, Minister Edghill last Wednesday disclosed that construction at the airport will continue because the government has to continue making more accommodation. He said, “We have to continue to making more accommodation, I think sooner or later with oil and gas sector growing and tourism growing and bringing in high profile tourist, we will have to have facilities for corporate jets, luxury lines…people coming here with private planes to go and do things; we have to keep expanding…”
The additional spending by the government has increased the amount of money spent on the airport which falls way below expectations and international airport standards.
The $37 million that is expected to be spent to construct the storage bond and workshop will also be added as additional spending.
Just recently, eight companies bid vying for the contract to construct a new administrative building at the airport. For this project, the engineer estimated it to cost $906 million [US$$4,309,639].
In August 2021, the Public Works ministry had signed a contract with Kalitech Incorporated to the tune of $25.9 million [US$124,021] to design the new office building for the airport staff.
The government also signed a $513 million [US$2,456,494] contract last year with construction company CALCO for the construction of a new building attached to CJIA’s terminal building – that new building will house a conference room, offices for the airlines and the other support agencies as well as storage bonds for the duty-free shops and concessionaires.
In September 2021, Edghill’s Ministry awarded a contract for $418,562,400 [US$2,000,000] to a local company named Total Solutions for the supply of two additional air-bridges for CJIA, some $73,248,420 more than what was paid for the other air bridges.
Some other projects at the airport that the government is funding are: $38 million [US$181,962] for an international apron and the taxiway Charlie; $23 million [US$110,135] for the rehabilitation of the existing roof at the airport; construction and rehabilitation works of the VIP Lounge and new and existing commercial buildings of the airport at an estimated cost of $612 million [US$2,930,554]; $518 million [US$2,480,436] runway, which comes with an Instrument Landing System (ILS) and $420 million [US$2,011,164], which was approved by the National Assembly for a baggage handling system for the renovated airport.
With more spending to be done on the airport, the final cost for the airport expansion is still unknown. Notably, while Minister Edghill had assured that the CJIA expansion project final cost will not surpass US$200 million –to date, the spending is currently over US$166 million.
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