Local stone suppliers BK International Quarries and Toolsie Persaud Limited Quarries today (Friday) signed contracts valued US$3.5M for the supply of 95,000 tonnes of stones for the US$150M Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) Expansion Project.
The contracts were inked in the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) with the Chinese Airport Expansion Contractor—China Harbour Engineering Inc (CHEC).
Keliang Liu, CHEC Project Manager inked the contract on behalf of the Chinese contractor with Brian Tiwarie of BK Quarries, and Rajesh Persaud of Toolsie Persaud Quarries.
Also in attendance for the formal signing ceremony today was Ministers of Public Infrastructure David Patterson and Annette Ferguson, along with Minister of Public Telecommunication, Catherine Hughes.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the airport Ramesh Ghir was also on hand to witness the event along with a sleuth of technical officers from the Ministry and CHEC’s management team.
The move to ink the contract with the local stone suppliers follows on a public debate which erupted last year when it was disclosed that CHEC had in fact inked a contract with state owned Surinamese company Grassalco.
CHEC claimed at the time that local suppliers had quoted higher prices than their Surinamese counterpart.
Grassalco had inked a contract with CHEC to supply some 300,000 tons of stones at a cost of $US28 dollars per tone—working out to a US$7.5M contract.
Under the new contracts, BK and Toolsie Quarries will be supplying stones at a cost of $US37 per ton.
BK Stone Quarries will now be supplying some 50,000 tons at a contract price of US$1.8M while Toolsie Persaud Quarries will supply 45,000 tons of stone with a contract price of US$1.7M.
The Surinamese state owned Grassalco had at the time partnered with Zhong Da International Engineering Company to supply the stones to CHEC for the US$150M project.
Briefing media operatives ahead of the formal inking of the contracts, Minister Patterson told media operatives that it was not a case where the Suriname contract was abandoned.
He explained that government had only granted a waiver for the supply of some of the stones from Suriname.
Patterson, posited that each of the stakeholders would have had to make concessions in order to see the stones being supplied locally.
It was pointed out that the contracts inked today are in fact for an initial supply of stones for the US$150M project which is scheduled for completion at the end of this year.
Minister Patterson said too that another company, Metallica Inc., is currently being assessed with regards to the quality of stones to be supplied, among other considerations, after which another contract is expected to be inked.