By Lazeena Yearwood
President Dr Irfaan Ali on Saturday visited several construction sites in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) to inspect ongoing projects which he said will contribute to the region’s massive development and economic growth.
During his visit to the shore base where works for the highly anticipated Wales gas-to-shore project, on the West Bank of Demerara, has commenced, the President was informed by contractors that the project is “going smoothly”.
This project is the single largest investment made in Guyana’s electricity sector and promises to slash local energy costs in half. Overall, the project is pegged at more than US$1 billion.
The Head of State also inspected the Schoonord to Crane four-lane highway construction site which hopes will be completed by year-end.
According to President Ali, the ongoing work has transformed the region into a service hub.
“The entire Region Three and similarly in other regions, where we are building new growth hubs, you will see that over the next couple of years, as we fill out an architecture system [and] infrastructure system, and an economic diversification programme, you will see that every single region will have growth like this being supported,” President Ali said.
The President was informed that several roads are being built in the area and it provides employment for over 100 persons, the majority of whom are Guyanese.
These works range from marines, carpenters and labourers.
Works on the $11.8 billion Schoonord to Crane four-lane highway started earlier this year and 106 feet of piles are currently being installed into the ground.
The project will see the construction of 4.1 kilometres of a dual carriageway reinforced concrete road with an emergency lane as well as 2.4 kilometres of road rehabilitation, and upgrade. One of the contractors noted that this is the most complex project undertaken in the history of the country.
It will also feature two roundabouts, 11 reinforced concrete box culverts, 36 pre-stressed bridges, and road signage and markings.
Also accompanying the President on Saturday morning was the Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar, who noted that contracts for the construction of the roads were inked at the beginning of the year and more are to be signed.
The road works will complement the housing development that is slated for the region.
President Ali explained that the Schoonord to Crane highway is also a major player in ensuring that the region’s road network is properly developed.
“This highway will not just ease the traffic but this highway will reduce the cost for the farmers and bring more efficiency and reduce the cost of production and improve the entire value chain of the lands and the type of economic activity around,” the President said.
He said the government aims to increase the yield and output of the land and facilities across the country through the use of innovative technological advancement.
Last month, the President also inspected ongoing works at the artificial island being constructed at the foreshore, Plantation Best, West Bank Demerara.
The mega undertaking, dubbed the ‘Port of Vreed-en-Hoop’, is the master plan of three local businessmen who moved to establish a multi-billion-dollar shore base port facility.