G$1.65B contract awarded for CARICOM complex By Neil Marks
Guyana Chronicle
February 21, 2002

THE Government yesterday announced the award of a G$1.65B contract to construct the headquarters complex of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) at Turkeyen, East Coast Demerara.

Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon announced at his weekly post-Cabinet media briefing that the contract has been awarded to S.A Nabi and Sons General Building and Civil Engineering Contractors.

The duration of the project is 18 months.

Through a non-project grant, the Japanese Government is helping Guyana meet the cost of the scheme by making available 500 million Japanese yen. Given the nature of the agreement between Guyana and Japan, the Japanese contribution might add up to about US$4M, officials said.

The Guyana Government will provide the rest of the funds from mainly the National Insurance Scheme.

The project design and supervision contract was awarded to Vikab Engineering.

Contractor Nabi and Sons should start construction of the massive structure shortly, employing a workforce of about 120, a company official said.

The CARICOM headquarters will essentially be a two-story building, built structurally of steel, and curtain-walled with aluminum and glass.

Apart from setting up the main building, with size specifications of 317 feet by 157 feet, the project will include the construction of two "service" buildings that will each measure 98 feet by 21 feet.

The construction company is no stranger to such large-scale projects, having worked on bigger projects in Barbados, Company Secretary, Mr. Shir A. Nabi told the Chronicle.

Locally, the firm's latest project was the construction of the new National Bank of Industry and Commerce (NBIC) building in Georgetown.

Past projects include Takuba Lodge, the National Cultural Centre and the Bank of Baroda.

Currently the firm is constructing the Rose Hall water treatment plant to the tune of almost G$1B, Nabi said.

On February 25, 1998, then President Janet Jagan, joined four CARICOM Prime Ministers and CARICOM Secretary General, Dr. Edwin Carrington for the sod turning ceremony for the construction of the secretariat building.

The CARICOM Secretariat is currently housed on two floors of the Bank of Guyana building and has offices scattered around the city.

The late President Cheddi Jagan was instrumental in seeing that the plot of land for the headquarters building was allocated.

The Guyana Sugar Corporation gave the Government a 40-acre plot of land, 14 acres of which will be used for the construction of the secretariat, according to officials.

Meanwhile, Luncheon said the Government is in discussion with possible donors to fund the construction of a conference centre that will adjoin the headquarters building.

He said details would be forthcoming once financing for the project is secured.