Region Five to get $935M rip-rap sea defence

by Amanda Wilson
Guyana Chronicle
May 25, 2001

THE Ministry of Public Works and Communication and contracting firm, B.K. International yesterday signed a $935M contract for the construction of more than two kilometers of rip-rap sea defence in Region Five (Mahaica/Berbice).

The project, funded through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), will be done in the Bel Air/Mon Choisi areas, West Coast Berbice.

Public Works Minister, Anthony Xavier said it is the largest contracted to a local firm and is expected to be completed in 12 months.

The signing was done in the minister's Kingston, Georgetown Office.

He said the project will be done in two phases and will bring the completion of sea defence projects, executed under the Sea Defence-Executing Unit, to 50 per cent.

Supervision will be done by the Dutch firm Haskoning through their local agent SRKN ginering and the government, Xavier said.

He added that his ministry expects that work will be completed on time and within the budget.

In related news, Minister Xavier noted that the sea defence breach at Turkeyen/Ogle, East Coast Demerara is a matter of urgency because of the May/June rains.

The ministry had selected a contractor to do corrective works there but the matter was brought before the Court.

Xavier said the case will be called again early next month and that his lawyers were encouraged to move "with haste".

According to him, the more than $180M project is being funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and he hopes it will be concluded on that date.

Chief Hydraulics Officer, Mr. George Howard explained that the rip-rap is suitable for Guyana's climate and is constructed with local materials. Only the filter fabric is imported.

In comparison to concrete structures, the rip-rap sea defence can be constructed at a faster pace and also reduces the incoming wave energy, Howard said.

He added that other sea defence works will be done in Region Two (Pomeroon/Supenaam) and Region Three (West Demerara/Essequibo Islands) with some 20M Euros made available through the European Union.

In other sea defence developments, the ministry expects to commence physical works on its pilot project on data collection in Region Two and Region Four (Demerara/Mahaica) by year-end.

The aim of the project, which will be continuous, is to have conclusive data on sea defences and elements involved.

Last December, B.K. International completed a $458M 12-month sea defence project at Good Hope, East Coast Demerara.

The project, during which some 1,100 meters of sea defence were constructed, was funded by the IDB.

The contracting company was also responsible for sea defence works at Reliance on the Essequibo Coast.