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[Guyana] New parking lot not part of US$150M CJIA project

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2018
by bimjim ... ext-month/

[Guyana] New parking lot construction not part of US$150M CJIA project – handover delayed until next month
Dec 18, 2018 News

A planned handover of the US$150M “expansion” project at Timehri is not going to make the year-end deadline. Rather, according to stakeholders who were taken on a recent tour, the “completion” is expected sometime in January. The news would come as questions continue to swirl about what exactly Guyana is expected to get for what is the biggest ongoing, infrastructural project by the Government.

For US$150M, the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), the Chinese contractor, was to have delivered a brand new two-storey terminal building, complete with skylights and a glass roof, along with provisions for eight passenger air bridges. However, a smaller terminal building is nearing construction at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).

The old car park area is likely to remain. Guyana is only getting four of those eight passenger bridges. Instead of the old terminal building being torn down or used for something else, it has been gutted and renovated.

Government has not come out and explained where the huge savings that would have been made from the project have gone to. Rather, they had been quoted as saying that the US$150M will suffice. The project is now almost two years overdue. The contract drawings indicate that a new design parking lot was planned for the US$150M

There are other questions about what is clearly emerging as an overpriced project. For example, the airport project will not have new parking lot when it is handed over. In fact, CHEC was specific in the contract that it will only design a new car park and that the Government will have to stand the responsibility of the parking lot construction. With expected traffic increase, the new parking lot would have catered for in excess of 1,000 parking spaces.

In the 2011 contract that CHEC signed with the outgoing Bharrat Jagdeo administration, the contractor was responsible for the design for a new car park, internal road area and handling equipment area whose construction will be undertaken by “employer (Government).” The contract also said that CHEC would have only been responsible to mark the position of new cargo area and fuel farm in the layout drawings. CHEC would have borne no responsibilities to make the detail design and construction both of which were to have been handled by the Government.

In recent years, there has been increased scrutiny on state-sponsored projects and whether the country was getting value for its monies. In many cases, the financing came from loans, leaving taxpayers holding the bill. This particular project has spanned three administrations. Kaieteur News had asked the Ministry of Public Infrastructure for a tour of the airport project but the tour never happened.

Officials have said that US$150M project was a fixed-price one that could not easily be modified. In any case, Government has not informed the people of Guyana what is happening.