— company to install two more air bridges; rectify, complete all remedial work
— work to be completed by December 2021
AFTER four months of resisting the government’s request to have the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) expansion project completed in accordance with the initial contract, Chinese company, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), has agreed to foot a US$9 million bill for additional work at the airport.
Pressure was mounting on the company to deliver the project based on the conditions outlined in the initial contract, as the government had halted all payments and threatened to take legal action as a final route of recourse.
The CJIA expansion project has been subjected to criticisms from the new government since it took office in August 2020. President, Dr. Irfaan Ali and other officials of the government have said that Guyana will not be tolerant of unsatisfactory work and made it clear that the project will only be accepted if it is done in accordance with the “original contract” that was signed in 2011. The government’s persistence has paid off, as it was announced on Tuesday that CHEC and the local authorities have signed an agreement for additional work, valuing US$9 million, to be executed at the airport, at the sole expense of the contractor.
The agreement was signed by the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Public Works, Vladim Persaud and Project Manager of CHEC, Liu Keliang.
Based on the particulars of the agreement, there will be an extension of the airport’s boarding corridor in order to accommodate two more passenger boarding bridges, taking the total number of boarding bridges to six.
All bridges are capable of servicing aircraft such as the Boeing 777 Dreamliner, AirBus and similar trans-Atlantic aircraft.
Additional work includes extension of the terminal building to provide accommodation for food courts and duty-free shops, among other things. The extended building will also feature a modern airport façade, covering the full length of the departure terminal.
The company also agreed to rectify and complete all outstanding remedial works within prescribed timelines. It was agreed that all work will be completed by December 31, 2021. When the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) coalition assumed office in May 2015, the project, which had been slated for a December 2017 completion, was halted for review.
MUST BE DELIVERED
Following that review, the scope of work was adjusted, several changes were made, and a new deadline was set for December 2018. But the new government was adamant that the conditions agreed to in 2011 must be delivered, or legal action will be taken against CHEC.
In a letter to the company, dated December 8, 2020, Attorney-General Anil Nandlall said: “Your company has failed to satisfy the employer’s requirement, contractor’s proposal and schedules, and all works necessary for the stability, safe and proper operation and completion of the whole works.”
The Attorney-General said the Ministry of Public Works entered into a “Fixed Priced Contract” to the tune of US$138 million to CHEC for the extension of the CJIA on November 11, 2011, and its subsequent addenda on September 15, 2014; July 28, 2015; March 15, 2017; December 12, 2017; and November 10, 2018, collectively forming the existing contract.
“In accordance with the terms of the underlying contract, CHEC Ltd’s contractual obligations are to carry out the planning, design and construction of the Extension of the CJIA, which is listed as one of the top-priority development projects of Guyana,” Nandlall reasoned.
The project includes the construction of a New Terminal Building (NTB), and the extension of the existing main runway to allow for Code E Aircraft operations at the CJIA. This project, when completed, is expected to attract more international airlines and travellers, to promote tourism and to provide economic development.