Chinese workers for Amaila road building

-still no evidence of Synergy’s experience
Workers from both Guyana and China will most likely be part of the construction team building the road at the proposed site for the Amaila Hydroelectric plant (AFHEP), President Bharrat Jagdeo revealed yesterday.

Questioned during a media briefing as to whether Chinese nationals would be working on constructing the road, Jagdeo said that this may be a possibility. “There may be Chinese workers and there will probably be Guyanese workers too. They may be from both sides,“ he said.   This comes after the President recently signed a US$500 million framework agreement with the China Development Bank (CDB) to fund the hydropower plant.  The President, however, stressed that his main objective was making the hydropower plant a reality.  He said that he did not really care how many of these workers were Chinese or Guyanese, if at the end of the project there was a product which would last.

The contract for the construction of the road and other parts of the first phase of the AFHEP was awarded earlier this year to the US-based Synergy Holdings Inc. , managed by Fip Motilall.  Repeated concerns have been raised about this company’s experience in road building. Requests by the media for evidence of the company’s road building experience to be made public have been denied.

However, when asked yesterday if he will be willing to disclose this information, Jagdeo indicated a willingness to facilitate the technical evaluators of the bids to share information regarding how Synergy won the contract.  “I can ask them to provide as much information as possible but we….followed strictly the technical recommendations,“ the President said.  “Maybe at some point in time, we can get the technical people….to talk about the considerations, why they recommended this contract,“ Jagdeo promised.

The Head of State stressed that Synergy was awarded the contract based on a technical evaluation conducted without any government interference.

The President also said that Motilall had to deliver on the project or face the consequences. “He has to deliver or he will face the full penalties provided by the contract, he said.

Synergy Holdings Inc. is already behind the building schedule for phase one of the AFHEP. Last month, Synergy Holdings Inc. invited applications for vacancies in nine areas.

These were for an Office Manager, a Purchasing and Human Resources Manager, Personal secretaries and general office staff, drivers and porters, heavy equipment operators, bridge construction field workers, mechanics and mechanic assistants as well as welders and fabricators.

It appears that Motilall will be contracting a Chinese company to assist with the road building.

The first phase of the AFHEP includes “the upgrading of approximately 85 km of existing roadway, the design and construction of approximately 110 km of virgin roadway, the design and construction of two new pontoon crossings at the Essequibo and Kuribrong rivers.”

The fourth part of the project is for the clearing of a pathway alongside the roadways to allow for the installation of approximately 65 km of transmission lines.

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