Reliance sea defence completed eight months ahead of schedule

Stabroek News
September 10, 2000

The $240 million sea defence project at Reliance, Essequibo Coast has been completed in less than half the projected time by contractor BK International Inc.

The work, completed some eight months ahead of schedule, was done in rip rap style using boulders from the toe to the knee of the breach front with a mud embankment to buttress it. Plans are also afoot to plant grass on this embankment to ensure its stability and prevent erosion in the event of heavy waves lashing the wall.

Minister of Transport and Hydraulics, Anthony Xavier, on a visit to Region Two on Friday to observe infrastructural works, complimented the company for its excellent workmanship.

"It was due to these high standards," Xavier said, that BK International was given favorable consideration for more works. The minister said he was inclined to use local contractors who should be prepared to perform. "I have never employed a foreign contractor since I have been a minister," stated Xavier in response to a query from a media operative accompanying him. "At least none in the sea defence sector." The minister and his team which included Permanent Secretary, Kenneth Jordan; Managing Director of BK, Brian Tiwari; his Chief Engineer, Garfield Barrow; members of the local media and other senior regional and ministry officials walked along a stretch of the embankment to observe the quality of workmanship.

The sea defence works by the Essequibo-born contractor is the first half of a total package of $667 million which was approved for works at two locations--Lusignan, East Coast Demerara (ECD) and Reliance and funded by the Government of Guyana and the Inter-American Development Bank.

Barrow said the job was completed with almost 100% local materials barring the fibre fabric which was imported from the Netherlands. The fabric is used below the rock finish just above a layer of sand and earth to assist with the filtering of the sea water and to aid with the retention of the material below. This material is normally placed three feet below the rocks.

BK International has also been awarded the contract for the Stanleytown, West Bank Demerara (WBD) river defence and Barrow said that although they were eager to begin work at that site, they had to await the importation of certain materials like the fabric and the steel sheeting to be driven in at the toe prior to commencing the formal job.

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