Govt engineers “lost confidence” in Chinese company to complete Cheddi Jagan Airport expansion on time

Last Updated on Tuesday, 4 October 2016, 21:53 by Denis Chabrol

At the southern end, the area has to be filled and compacted with huge amounts of sand to the height of the vegetated area.

At the southern end, the area has to be filled and compacted with huge amounts of sand to the height of the vegetated area.

Serious concerns are being raised about the apparent lag and quality in the expansion of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), prompting calls for an urgent meeting with top officials of China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC).

Demerara Waves was told that government’s team of engineers have “lost confidence” in CHEC to complete the US$150 million project by December 1, 2017

Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MPI) sources confirmed that the Guyana government’s Project Manager, Engineer Carmichael Thorne has written to CHEC, expressing grave concern about the quality of work and feared that the project would not be completed to the desired standard and before the end of 2017.

“We want to nail them in terms of scheduling and what needs to be done so we have to go tooth-and-nail with them because they are going tooth-and-nail with you. Every ounce you go over, it’s a cost to the government,” the source said.

The talks are expected to centre on fine-tuning plans for the extension of the terminal building and have CHEC commit itself to the time-lines. “Those are some of the things that he needs to be ironed out and I think that is what he wants to call the meeting for because they have been bobbing-and-weaving,” the source said.

Authorities are worried that CHEC might be piggy-backing on the CJIA expansion project to construct the MovieTown project at Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara.

The MPI technical personnel, the source confirmed, is also concerned about the quality and consistency of the concrete being used. “We had issues with them with the concrete indeed. It’s just not in terms of the quality of concrete but it is the time the delivery is being done to the worksite and getting work done. The quality may be one which we are looking at and here it is they are going to finish MovieTown before the airport,” he said.

The source confirmed that there have been concerns about the progress being made to complete the project by the end of 2017 at the desired standard, and that the meeting that has been requested with top CHEC officials.

Thorne and his team late last month reportedly told the local Project Manager of CHEC, Keliang Liu that whenever the meeting is held with the contract signatory Wren Guang Jie in October to tell the contractor in no uncertain terms that government has lost confidence and that efforts must be made to put the relations back on even keel with all assurances that every effort would be made to remedy the situation.

A member of CJIA’s Board of Directors said that policy and decision-making body was not legally part of the process concerning the expansion of the airport, and as such has no legal role in determining the state or future of the project.

The MPI official confirmed that there have been concerns about the use of the vibroflotation method in extending the 2,270 metre-long runway by another 1,090 metres to accommodate larger aircraft. CHEC had been tasked