The Guyana Sugar Corporation yesterday said that work by South African firm Bosch Engineering to repair the beleaguered Skeldon factory cost US$1.8M and not US$30 million as was reported by Stabroek News in its March 9, 2014 edition.
Based on information from reliable sources, Stabroek News has for several months now reported that the work cost US$30M and this was never refuted by either the corporation or the government until yesterday. Bosch was said to be rectifying work botched by the previous contractor, CNTIC of China.
In a statement released yesterday, GuySuCo stated that “Prior to the start of the 2nd crop last year three of the six projects that included the condensate tank, bagasse scratcher and pipe support were completed in accordance with the required specification and have been working satisfactorily ever since. The other three projects were delayed due to the late arrival of required spares and were successfully completed before the commencement of the current crop.”
The corporation also contested the statement in the March 9 report about compatibility issues with equipment.
GuySuCo asserted that “there is no compatibility issues with the plant equipment that were supplied by the China National Technical Import and Export Corporation, CNTIC, and Bosch. Sugar processing equipment are manufactured worldwide; in the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, Brazil etc, and all are used in various sugar factories throughout the Corpora-tion.”
GuySuCo also denied that the technical staff was left out of the decision making process. “The corporation posits that its technical staff were fully involved with the Bosch Projects that includes approving of the designs for all six projects; and assured that all six projects were completed to the desired specifications.”
When Stabroek News spoke with various industry insiders this publication was told that Bosch had not finished work on the bagasse plough and that one of the primary conveyors was still malfunctioning.
This publication understands that Bosch representatives were on site in February to review the six projects.
Stabroek News was told that the condensate tank still needed work and that when Bosch representatives were in Guyana they were hesitant to say the work was finished. Industry insiders are also hesitant because they fear for their job security, however Stabroek News was told that GuySuCo was making attempts to ensure that there was a defects liability clause with Bosch so the mistakes made with CNTIC were not repeated. CNTIC was apparently not penalised despite the major problems with the factory from the inception.
Stabroek News first reported that the rehabilitation work for the US$110 million Skeldon factory would cost approximately US$30 million in August of last year.