Dubai, Spain among countries interested in building Guyana-Suriname Bridge
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A total of 30 companies have expressed interest for the Consultancy Services in conducting a Feasibility Study and Detailed Designs for the construction of a bridge across the Corentyne River, connecting Guyana and Suriname.
In a press statement, Guyana’s Ministry of Public Works said that the companies are from countries such as the Netherlands, Turkey, United States of America, Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Japan, Italy, India, Spain, Suriname, Philippines, Canada, Dubai, China, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and Lebanon.
“Some of the proposals submitted were for joint venturesm,” the statement indicated.
In receiving a report of the submissions of the Expressions of Interest (EoIs), Public Works Minister, Juan Edghill, said he is heartened by both the number of responses and how wide the geographical spread of interest is, as reflected in the scope of countries that bid.

“It is clear that the world is interested in Guyana and its development. People want to participate, invest and have a stake. This is good for both countries,” Edghill said.
The favourable responses from companies come even as contractors from various parts of the world were faced with a series of COVID-19-related challenges in making their submissions. The ministry, a few days ago, even adjusted its requirements to facilitate electronic copies of the EoIs, in an effort to ensure that contractors are able to make their submissions on time. The conditions, however, provide for an extended March 2021 deadline for all hardcopy submissions. In the cases where the softcopies are different from the hardcopies, the softcopy documents will take precedence in being considered.
Minister Edghill had previously told the Guyana Chronicle that a technical team has been assembled to ensure the competent and transparent execution of construction of the bridge. That team is being mutually spearheaded by Minister Edghill and his Surinamese counterpart, Riad Nuiermohamed.
Minister Edghill had informed that all submissions would be examined by the aforementioned team, and that bidders would only be selected if they satisfy the criteria agreed by both countries.

TECHNICAL COMPETENCE, OTHER REQUIREMENTS

In the assessment of submissions, consideration will be given to technical competence, financial capability, qualifications, existing commitments, and importantly, the bidder’s experience on similar projects, both locally and regionally.
Edghill said that while construction of the bridge is a joint initiative, the contracted works will not necessarily be ‘shared’ by the two countries.
“Whoever is the qualified contractor with the competence and skills and everything to build the bridge, will be awarded the work,” Edghill asserted.
The EoI, initially published late last year, has specified that “following the assessment of the submissions, a shortlist of no less than three, and no more than six applicants, will be provided with full terms of reference and will then be invited to submit technical and financial proposals to undertake the assignment.”
“We expect this process to be advanced swiftly as both Guyana and Suriname are committed to the finalisation of this project,” the recent press release stated.
During early December 2020, the Ministry of Public works for both countries (Guyana and Suriname) invited Expressions of Interest for the provision of consultancy services for the “conducting of Feasibility Study and Preparing Detailed Designs for Construction of the Bridge over the Corentyne River and Approach Roads Connecting Suriname and Guyana”.

According to the published invitation, “The objective of the consultancy is to conduct a feasibility study including environmental and social-impact assessments and prepare detailed designs, drawings, cost estimates and bid documents for the construction of a bridge linking South Drain, Suriname, and Moleson Creek, Guyana.”
Once one of the 30 companies is selected, the company would have to be able to supply both a comprehensive feasibility study, as well as a detailed design for the bridge, within 12 months.
The EoI had specified that “The Governments of Suriname and Guyana reserve the right to accept or reject late applications or to cancel the present invitation partially or in its entirety. It will not be bound to assign any reason for not shortlisting any applicant and will not defray any costs incurred by any applicant in the preparation and submission of Expressions of Interest.” Nonetheless, Minister Edghill is hopeful that if all goes well, the bridge linking Guyana and Suriname could be completed and put to use before the end of 2025.

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