2016: Stimulating growth through improved infrastructure

GINA, GUYANA, Thursday, December 29, 2016

During the year 2016, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure was on a mission to stimulate growth through improved infrastructure. Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson early in the year, said his Ministry was embarking on a policy to put systems in place to ensure transparency and accountability.

Some of the systems implemented include, advertising all projects publicly with more effective supervision and monitoring devices being implemented, upgrading and tightening of evaluation procedures, and the establishment of the National Task Force.

The Minister noted that these efforts were to ensure that roads, bridges, energy, power generation, and other infrastructural works in the various regions were expanded and developed.

EBD four – lane project

 This project commenced in the latter part of 2011 and was finally completed in September 2016 at a total cost of US$17.171M. Works such as drains and traffic signals were paid for under another loan.

Overview of a section of the completed East Bank Demerara Four Lane Road expansion

ECD expansion project

After considerable delays, the Framework Agreement with the People’s Republic of China for a US$45.5M concessional loan to complete the widening and improvement of the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) highway was signed on November 23, 2016.

Miscellaneous, Urban Road

The Ministry of Public Infrastructure, through the Works Services Group (WSG), constructed and rehabilitated roads in Regions Two, Three, Four, Five, Six and Ten under the Miscellaneous and Urban Roads Programme. A budgeted amount of $1.425B and $1.164B were allocated under the Miscellaneous and Urban roads programme, respectively, in 2016.

In 2016 the Ministry embarked on the Sophia Ring road project which will cover Liliendaal, Pattensen, Cummings Lodge, and Turkeyen and will see the creation of bridges, conduits, and culverts. The project which commenced early in 2016 will extend from ‘A’ through ‘E’ Fields, Sophia.

Also in 2016, the Ministry in an effort to bridge the gap between the hinterland and the coastland commenced major infrastructural works in the hinterland. These include the completed Puruni/Itaballi road in Region Seven, Linden/Lethem road in Region Nine which is almost completed, Linden to Ituni road and Mahdia in Region Eight. In Mahdia, work is progressing steadily on the concrete roads being built.

Other roads rehabilitated and constructed during the year include in Leguan, Region Three; Mackenzie and Wismar, Region Ten; Woolford Avenue, Thomas Land; Lombard Street and Waterloo Street, and Mocha main and internal roads.

Rehabilitated ‘A’ Field, Sophia road, Sophia ringroad project

Rehabilitated Waterloo Street

Additionally, street lights were installed in Dennis Street and other sections of Sophia and Cemetery Road , as well as Mocha, East Bank Demerara.

Bridges

Two roll-over bridge projects, at a cost of $37.8M were completed, while contracts were awarded for works on the Liliendaal Acrow Panel, No. 66 Truss Bridge, Corentyne and No. 51 Village, Corentyne bridges.

The damaged number two and number four bridges at the Kurupukari Crossing located along the Essequibo River, near the Iwokrama River lodge were successfully rehabilitated and constructed during the year. The number two bridge had a “wash away” on the entrance leading to the structure, and due to poor quality of construction, dry weather and lack of maintenance, the number four bridge was severely damaged and encountered a substructure failure.

Rehabilitative works are ongoing on the shifted Hope Canal Bridge located at Hope on the East Coast of Demerara. The bridge has shifted due to poor design.

Earlier in the year, $60M was earmarked to construct a new bridge to connect Lethem, and the community of Tabatinga, Region Nine.

Demerara Harbour Bridge

 In December 2015 government received expressions of interest for the undertaking of a feasibility study and design of a new bridge across the Demerara River from 23 companies. Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson revealed that in the first six months in 2017, the final study on a new bridge will be done by Dutch Company, Lievense CSO, an engineering firm from the Netherlands. Thereafter, the tendering process for the construction of a new bridge will commence.

Additionally, in November of 2016, the DHBC re-started night retractions to ease morning congestion at the bridge.

Meanwhile, from January 2017, some of the tolls at the DHBC will see an increase. Minister Ferguson disclosed that the tolls for four -wheeled jeeps and mini buses’ remainthe same . Motor cycles, motor cars, and tractors, and trailers, will see a 100 percent increase. Goods vehicle and motor vehicle tolls will be raised by 200 percent.

 Hinterland Roads

The Government in its continuing effort to the link the hinterland to the coastal area has been working to achieve an improved road network which is vital for the extractive and eco-tourism industries.

In 2016, $1.702B was provided for the continued rehabilitation of hinterland roads including those in Bartica, Mahdia, Ituni-Kwakwani and Cassandra Crossing. These works are ongoing while others continue in other hinterland regions.

Sea Defence

Sea and River Defence works under the Sea and River Defence Resilience Project commenced in 2015 and were ongoing 2016 in Regions Two, Three, Four and Six. The envisaged benefits include flood protection infrastructure; capacity building within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure; and community awareness and education.

Two hundred 200 metres of rip-rap work was carried out on the sea defence at Ruimzeight which had seen rapid erosion. This was done under the Ministry’s capital programme.

Other sea defence works were done at Cornelia Ida, Friendship, Ruimzeight, Orangestein and Waller’s Delight among other areas in 2016. Sea Defence works commenced at Leguan and should be completed soon.

Completed sea and river defence at Ruimzeight, West Coast Demerara

Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA)

As at November 30, 2016, revenue collected amounted to $1.168B compared to $1.033B for the corresponding period last year. These collections reflect a 13% increase.

The corporation recorded 513,444 processed passengers as of November 2016, compared to 459,346 last year for the same period, and it was twice successfully audited by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of USA in 2016.

Excavation works and foundation treatment for the CJIA expansion project were 100% completed. Sand backfill was recorded at 68.7% at both ends, and total runway works were 50.54%. Foundation works on the new arrival terminal building commenced.

Two residents within the North East footprint were relocated, and contracts awarded for the relocation of three others from within. This exercise should be completed by the end of December 2016.

 Eugene F. Correia International Airport

In March this year the Ogle International Airport was officially renamed the Eugene F. Correia International Airport as a tribute to the late Eugene Francis Correia who pioneered the development of the aviation sector and Guyana’s gold and diamond industry. President David Granger described Correia as insightful, a visionary and a nationalist, who was a strong advocate of a strong domestic air transport system.

 Guyana Power and Light Incorporated (GPL)

The Guyana Power and Light Inc. has had many achievements in 2017 including:

  • Signing a contract with Manitoba Hydro International Ltd in September, 2016 for implementation of a Management Strengthening Progra This is aimed at reinforcement of GPL’s managerial capabilities to support its senior management in the operational areas of the company over three years at a value of $1.5B.

 

  • completion of two preparatory steps to position GPL to introduce renewable energy from intermittent sources (wind and solar) and non-intermittent (biomass and hydro)

 

  • GPL’s Anna Regina branch invested approximately US$3M for 3 x 7 megawatt HFO fired containerised generators and expects these to be commissioned in May 2017 These new generators will replace the two aged Wartsila units.

 

  • Bartica – GPL has invested approximately US$3M to procure, commission, and conduct preliminary works for 3 x 0.6 megawatt LFO (diesel) fired containerised generators and expects these to be commissioned in April 2017.

 

  • The power company continued with the development of its Transmission and Distribution Syste Tenders have been advertised for construction of Williamsburg  (EBB),   Kuru   Kuru   (EBD), Hydronie (EBE) and Wales (WBD) substations and

 

  • Expansion of Vreed-en-Hoop, Edinburgh (WCD), Kingston, Sophia, Garden of Eden, and No 53 (EBB) substation

Erected street lights at Dennis Street, Sophia

Erected street lights at Cemetery road, Georgetown

 

Guyana Energy Agency (GEA)

The GEA and the Hinterland Electrification Company Incorporated (HECI) are advancing the installation of a 20KW hydropower plant at Hosororo, Region One, to supply electricity to Mabaruma Power and Light.

GEA’s hydropower capacity was bolstered in 2016 with the addition of a German resident hydropower specialist, who has since been working on the Kato hydro project, and preparing preliminary assessments for a number of other hydro sites in Guyana.

Meanwhile, under the fuel marking programme, it is estimated that by the end of the year GEA would have conducted more than 12,000 site visits; collected and tested more than 35,000 fuel samples; and seized more than 13,000 gallons of illegal fuel, among other accomplishments.

Solar Panels

In 2016 19,600 solar panels were distributed and installed to over 186 hinterland communities while, 25 hinterland community hubs will be powered. Additionally, under the renewable energy programme, in 2017 the first ever solar farm, on a large scale, will be installed in Mabaruma.

Wind farm

 In keeping with the Green Economy initiative the Ministry of Public Infrastructure has undertaken a number of initiatives to provide the policy, regulatory and technical framework for the development of wind energy in accordance with international standards.

In March 2016, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure consulted with an international expert to advise on the environmental, economic, technical issues, requirements, and processes that would be necessary for a systematic and professional development of wind energy projects. A draft of the updated National Energy Policy will be available by the end of 2016 while,

The recently updated Study of Guyana’s Power Generation System Expansion identifies the role for up to 26MW of wind energy generation capacity from the year 2017.

Chairman of Board of Directors, GPL, Robert Badal introducing the team from Manitoba Hydro International Ltd. (MHI) that will conduct management strengthening of the Guyana Power and Light (GPL)

Transport & Harbours Department (T&HD)

The T&HD started a strategy to turn around the agency to make it a better ferry service provider in all areas-governance, management, operations, procurement, customer service and financial viability. Efforts are ongoing to make the department more effective.

The T&HD during the year docked several vessels including the MV Sabanto, MV Kanawan, M.V Barima, and the Lady Northcote. These vessels are up and running with the exception of the MV Kimbia.

The Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) during the year also conducted a number of riverain outreaches where they educated children and individuals on river safety. Moreover a team from MARAD visited Mabaruma in Region One to conduct training in safe boating practices for boat operators in that area.

Additionally, boat operators in Region Five have since completed training and were certified in their respective areas of operation.

Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA)

After an International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Coordinated Validation Mission (ICVM) audit, Guyana has moved from 44.24% to 64.66% level of compliance with the standards and recommended practices of ICAO.

This was possible after much investment in staffing capacity, institutional strengthening, and provision of technical training both locally and overseas, and the development of modern regulations and enhancement in the management of the GCAA.

Additionally, in 2016, $32.8M was invested to train eight persons in Jamaica, to become full-fledged Air Traffic Controllers to ease the constraints at the Timehri and Ogle Control Towers respectively. Guyanese student Devindra Kissoon topped the course.

The GCAA was granted government’s approval for the purchase of a new state-of-the-art simulator in 2017. This new equipment will boost capacity while the authority strives to achieve category one rating of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Since the APNU/AFC has taken office 18 months ago, there have been significant developments, both physical and otherwise. Roads, bridges and airstrips have been constructed and rehabilitated while agencies such as the Guyana Power and Light Incorporated and the Guyana Energy Agency have performed excellently during the year. The Ministry of Public Infrastructure has been working assiduously in the last year to upgrade the quality of life for Guyanese through improved infrastructure. In the coming year, there are budgetary allocations for greater improvements.

by Ranetta La Fleur

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