Delay in Amaila road will not affect overall project schedule

—Sithe Global

The expected delay in the completion of the Amaila Falls access road will not impact on the overall schedule for the project, Sithe Global says.

Recently, senior government engineer Walter Willis indicated that the construction of the Amaila Falls access road is so far behind schedule that the contractor Fip Motilall is not likely to substantially complete the road before December. The deadline for the completion of the US$15.4M project was originally September 9.   Sithe Global, the developer of the hydropower plant, has committed to beginning construction of the plant before year end. The company has said that it is in the final stages of securing financial closure for the project.

When contacted recently, Sithe’s Senior Vice President Jim McGowan indicated that all the parties are working together to ensure the timely construction of the project. “All parties are coordinating closely and the proposed Amaila Access Road schedule will not impact our EPC contractor’s overall schedule for the project,” McGowan said via email.   He said that it is Sithe’s understanding that the road will be completed before the end of the year.

Willis had explained that Motilall’s company Synergy Holdings is likely to claim an extension for the bad weather and for other extenuating circumstances.  It is only if the company fails to complete the project by the extended deadline that the government can claim liquidated damages, he explained.

Given the delays in the construction of the road, Synergy has been asked to develop a “new structure” to secure more equipment and personnel.  The company had secured a pile-driving hammer and a dragline, but according to Willis the company still needed more personnel. Back in April, the government urged Motilall to subcontract aspects of the project since he was far behind schedule.  It would appear, though, that this has made little difference in accelerating the project.

Synergy won the contract for “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 company was also to clear the pathway alongside the roadways to allow for the installation of approximately 65 km of transmission lines.

When the company won the contract for the project it faced intense scrutiny over its road-building capacity. However, Motilall said that he has built roads in the US States of Florida and Georgia.

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