Oct 15, 2022 News
Kaieteur News – Out of the two Chinese contractors that bid for the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) railway and highway expansion projects, it was China Railway First Group Co. Limited that has been awarded the contract to execute the works.
As previously reported, during the opening of tenders back in September, it was China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) and China Railway that were vying for the Ministry of Public Works project.
Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill on the sidelines of an event on Thursday told reporters that the project was awarded to China Railway to the tune of US$184 million and currently the project is in its mobilisation stage.
At the tender opening last month, CHEC submitted two bids – US$248,502,291 and an alternative bid of US$223,505,303 – while China Railway placed a bid of US$184,898,925 for the project.
The road works, which the Ministry is undertaking is for the completion of phase two of the East Coast Demerara road widening and improvement project from Annandale to Mahaica and the construction of a four-lane road along the railway embankment corridor from Sheriff Street to Orange Nassau.
The widening of the ECD highway began under the previous government when works on the first phase started in 2017 and was completed in 2020 by the contractor China Railway First Group.
In January 2017, the then Government (the APNU+AFC Coalition) had secured a concessional loan for the widening and improvement of the highway.
According to reports, former Finance Minister, Winston Jordan had signed a Concessional Loan Agreement with the Export-Import Bank of China for RMB Yuan 313,838,800 or approximately US$45,318,337 for the project. This was achieved less than two months after the inking of the Framework Agreement between the Governments of Guyana and the People’s Republic of China that took place on November 23, 2016.
Though China Railway commenced works on the road in 2017, according to reports, the contract was awarded back in 2014 under the PPP/C government to the tune of US$42.7 million.
But before this contract was awarded, initial works on the project had started sometime in 2012 when the government had received a US$688,950 grant from the Kuwaiti Government to carry out a feasibility study on the Better Hope to Annandale road.
With the works on the East Coast highway to be continued, it was announced this year, that there are plans on expanding the railway corridor.
Back in June, Senior Minister with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, during a contract signing ceremony had noted the importance of upgrading the roadways in the country. These road projects, he explained then are not only to improve the ease of commute or opening new lands for productive activity, but also to improve connectivity within the country and with neighbouring counterparts.
During that ceremony, the Minister had mentioned that there are plans on opening up a new four-lane highway along the East Coast from Sheriff Street to Orange Nassau with further work planned for beyond all the way to Rosignol.
The planned road works set to be executed by China Railway is expected to be completed in 28 months.
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