Gov’t now negotiating with Chinese Joint Venture firm for new Harbour Bridge

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Negotiations on the construction of the new Demerara Harbour Bridge have shifted to the second-ranked bidder on the list of pre-qualified firms after talks between the government and China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd. were scrapped over the company’s high cost to build the modern structure.

The new firm is a Joint Venture (JV) company between China Railway Construction Corporation (International) Ltd., China Railway Construction (Caribbean a) Co. Ltd, and China Railway Construction Bridge Engineering Bureau Group Co. Ltd (China & Trinidad and Tobago).

Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill said on Tuesday that the initial company had proposed to construct the bridge at a price of US$256.6 million but upon examination of the total cost, the interest among variables was just “too high.”

“You have to look at the term sheet, the overall and that was what was kinda problematic,” the Public Works Minister told the News Room.

Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill

No timeline was given as to how long talks would last with the new company, but Edghill noted that the government is hopeful of a contract being signed by the end of February.

“You know in any negotiations when you are discussing terms and conditions, it is a long process of going back and the sharing of information…but hopefully, once we get a contract signed by the end of February, we will get the bridge.”

And he said that the government’s position of having the high span, four-lane structure delivered two years after the contract signing, still remains.

The new structure will land at Nandy Park on the East Bank of Demerara and Meer Zorgen/La Grange on the West Bank of Demerara. And it serves as a critical component of the government’s drive to expand and modernize Guyana’s transport infrastructure.

The high span bridge will replace the more than 45-year-old DHB with a modern four-lane structure that will facilitate greater traffic capacity and dramatically improve commuter convenience.

Further, the new bridge will also offer critical connectivity to the new Wales Development Authority which will be a major centre of productive activity when it comes on stream.

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