CHEC dumps Surinamese stone for more expensive local supplies

Last Updated on Friday, 12 May 2017, 22:11 by Denis Chabrol

FLASH BACK: Grassalco, a Surinamese company, loading crushed stone on a barge.

China Harbour Engineering Corporation (CHEC), the Chinese contractor undertaking the US$150M expansion of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), on Friday inked two multi-million dollar contracts with local stone suppliers, to provide an initial amount of close to 100,000 tons of stones, sourced locally at cost of some US$3.5M.

Keliang Liu, CHEC Project Manager’s inked the contract on behalf of the Chinese contractor with Brian Tiwarie of BK Quarries, and Rajesh Persaud of Toolsie Persaud Quarries.

The move by the Chinese comes after the brouhaha that would have erupted this past year when CHEC inked a contract with a Surinamese supplier for stones for the project by passing local suppliers.

Witnessing the contract signing Friday morning were Ministers of Public Infrastructure David Patterson and Annette Ferguson, along with Minister of Public Telecommunication, Catherine Hughes.

The signing was held at the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) at CJIA and also saw in attendance Chief Executive Officer, Ramesh Ghir, Project Consultant, Tom Rosiewich, MMM Group and a team of technical officers from the Ministry and CHEC’s management team.

Under the contracts inked, BK Stone Quarries will be supplying some 50,000 tons at a contract price of US$1.8M of stone while Toolsie Persaud Quarries will supply 45,000 tons of stone with a contract price of US$1.7M.

Prior to the formal inking of the contracts for the supply of stones for the airport expansion, Minister Patterson recalled the public furor that had erupted at the time of the announcement of the original contract with Surinamese , Grassalco for the supply of some 300,000 tons of stone at a cost of some US$7.5M.

CHEC at the time had pointed to the price being charged by the Surinamese supplier at US$28 per ton of stone
Grassalco had at the time partnered with Zhong Da International Engineering Company.

Minister Patterson told media operatives that it was not a case where the Suriname contract was scrapped since the government had only initially granted a waiver for the supply of some of the stones from Suriname.

According to Patterson, each of the stakeholders would have had to make concession in order to see the stones being supplied locally.

At the announcement of the contract with the Surinamese supplier in September last, local suppliers were up in arms over the move.

The Surinamese company had inked a contract for the supply of stone at US$28 per ton—cheaper than the quotes that were received locally.

Under the new contracts, BK and Toolsie Quarries will be supplying stones at a cost of U$37 per ton.

It was pointed out that the contracts inked today are in fact for an initial supply of stones for the US$150M, scheduled for completion at the end of this year.

Patterson announced, too, that another company, Metallica Inc, is currently being assessed with regards quality of stones to be supplied among other considerations after which another contract is expected to be inked.