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The entire process leading to the signing of the contract in November last year is above board and falls within the laws of Guyana,Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys, Works Minister Robeson Benn, has asserted.He was discussing Guyana’s second largest investment in this country in 20 years.Speaking with the press in his Kingston location yesterday,Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping, Benn disclosed that his office is in the process of preparing advice to the Cabinet of the findings “…and there are no hurdles. The financing is already in place”.The government official insisted that the US$150M price was arrived at after “torrid” negotiations and “back and forth” meetings between China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), the contractor; Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) officials; engineers and administrators of the Public Works Ministry and the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).“It was not like this came out of a hat or something.”In November, days before the November 28 General and Regional Elections and before President Bharrat Jagdeo stepped down,Cheap Jerseys 2018, Guyana learnt through the Jamaica press that Guyana has signed a US$150M contract with CHEC to rebuild the CJIA,Wholesale NFL Jerseys Online, complete with a new terminal and longer runway. Jamaica is where CHEC has its regional headquarters.The project was immediately dogged by the perceived secrecy, especially as a US$600M road and highway project in Jamaica contracted to CHEC was under fire for the manner it was awarded to that company. The Jamaican government has since blocked its contract regulator, Office of the Contractor General, from investigating CHEC and the project which was recently signed.Several other revelations have since been made public about CHEC and its parent company,Cheap NFL Jerseys, China Communications and Construction Company (CCCC).  Sudan has temporarily halted a 900M Euros airport project because of the high costs.Groundwork doneYesterday, Benn said that CHEC came to Guyana in late 2010 looking for projects to invest in and to build. Several projects on the backburner including a Deep Water Harbour, dredging of the Demerara River and the Linden/Lethem Road were among those discussed.The expansion of the CJIA airport was also on the agenda and this was the one that CHEC latched on to.According to Benn, the acceptance of the proposals from CHEC included checks by authorities here of similar projects overseas.He claimed that the CJIA expansion had always been on the cards and government had even done a feasibility study to that effect. CHEC had also done studies.“We finally came down to a figure which we felt was favourable to Guyana.”The CJIA expansion project had been conceptualized as far back in 1997 when Guyana had engaged South Africa about the possibilities of extending the CJIA runway.According to Benn, the issue of the airport expansion has to do with the development of tourism and business opportunities, and deals at the same time with congestion and the limited runway issue at CJIA. This, he reminded, was brought sharply into focus last July after a Caribbean Airlines flight overshot the runway and broke in two. While there were no deaths, there were injuries and the airline is facing lawsuits.“This is a nightmare we wanted to avoid,” Benn said, noting that the current situation at the facility continues to pose risk and safety concerns which have to be addressed.“The final result (US$150M) is not a CHEC result.”No secrecy hereQuestioned why Guyana never learnt of the project, Benn argued that his Ministry simply had not yet taken a position. “We did not have a finality of the project (at that time).”CHEC conducted its feasibility study and made the proposal to Government. It was when the Chinese government held a special forum in Trinidad last year that Guyana managed to single out financing.Benn claimed that the Chinese contractor inadvertently released details of the signing without government’s Cabinet of Ministers being officially informed in Guyana.He also insisted that sole tendering, the method by which CHEC was awarded the contract, is not illegal and allowed for in law.“There is no secrecy to the project… there was confidentiality. As of now, the CJIA expansion project is a go and there are no hurdles.”Benn also said that based on the negotiation process, Guyana can be confident that it is getting value for its money.The expansion of CJIA will see the main runway being extended by another 1,000 metres and the current terminal building being rebuilt. It will in all likelihood take over the current parking lot and include more check-in and departure booths and passenger bridges and increased security systems.Some 1,800 persons in the vicinity of the airport are to be relocated. There are several shops,Jerseys NFL China, churches and farms in the area.
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