– after presenting plan not reflective of terms in ‘original contract’
THE Government of Guyana has again asked the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) to submit a revised work plan for the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) expansion project, which reflects the terms agreed to in the “original contract.”
Following the declaration of the elections result in August this year, President Irfaan Ali had visited the project site and made several public observations and statements.
Glaring inefficiencies and shortcomings in the project had forced President Ali to say that Guyana will only accept work as was outlined in the original 2011 contract signed by CHEC and the former People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) administration. President Ali made it clear that he will not accept the unsatisfactory work done so far.
It is for this reason that the company was asked to submit a revised work plan; a request which Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill, said the company did not comply with.
“The Chinese company submitted ‘a’ revised work plan, not a work plan that speaks to the right air bridges and terminal building to facilitate that with aprons and taxiways…they have submitted a work plan, not a plan to get completed what was supposed to be done,” said Minister Edghill in an invited comment, on Monday.
According to a recent press release from CHEC, the initial contract for the project, which was signed on November 11, 2011, for US$138 million between Guyana and CHEC, had a specific scope of works to be included in the price and officially started on January 16, 2013.
The contract established that the contractor’s submission of the price had certain conditions, and it excluded the handling of equipment and the removal of the existing terminal, among other things, and specifically established government’s responsibility to supply the equipment for eight bridges and other handling equipment.
During the period January 2013 to May 2015, budget allocations for the project were not approved by Parliament, which prevented the contractor from executing the works as planned.
“Works restarted on the project in May 2015, but were halted when the new administration (APNU+AFC) requested a review of the project and notified the contractor to suspend construction during the review period,” said CHEC.
The revised scope of work derived by the former administration replaced the new terminal building, parking aprons, and eight boarding bridges – to be supplied by government – with a renovation of and new construction area in the existing terminal building, parking aprons and four boarding bridges, two of which were to be supplied by the contractor and the two by the employer.
The company had committed to working with the new government to complete the project in line with the revised scope of work, but Minister Edghill has again said the authorities will only accept a project which is compliant with the terms in the original contract.
“We continue to request and insist that we must have eight bridges with taxiway and aprons to accommodate eight standing aircraft at a time,” said Minister Edghill.