Lot 2 contract singing for Pekoa and Whitegrass runway repairs

Minister Jotham Napat and CCECC GM Yang Song with copy of the VAIP Lot 2 contract after signing, surrounded by representatives of NCAACC, AVL, the tourism sector and VPMU.

The Minister for Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Jotham Napat, on behalf of the Government of Vanuatu, on Monday signed a contract award for Lot 2 of the Vanuatu Aviation Investment Project (VAIP) with the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) and its joint venture company, Northwest Civil Aviation Airport Construction Company (NCAACC) of China .

Mr Liang Qing and Mr Chen Tianzhi represented the contractors.

Lot 2 contract award for VAIP is for Santo’s Pekoa International Airport runway overlay and Tanna’s Whitegrass Airport runway service treatment.

MIPU Minister Napat says the Lot 2 signing is important “because it will bring stability to Pekoa and Whitegrass airport runways increasing their lifespan by 10 years”.

Yang Song, the General Manager of CCECC, expressed his gratitude to the Government and the people of Vanuatu for the trust and confidence shown in awarding the contract to the Chinese joint venture partnership that will be carrying out the work.

“As we speak, mobilization is under way.

“This includes site survey, construction camp negotiation, material procurement and personnel and machinery deployment.

“We are committed to meeting the time frame and complying with all the laws, regulations and requirement,” he added.

The value of the contract is $US11,390,000 (Vt1.3 billion) and the duration of the project will be 240 days.

The contractors will work with Airports Vanuatu Limited and Air Vanuatu to map out operation windows for construction works, to avoid disruption of normal airline services and ensuring Pekoa and Whitegrass continue to operate normally.

“The Government would like to stress that this project is of paramount importance and its completion is its utmost priority,” Minister Jotham Napat said.

VAIP will ensure strict contract management is in place and the contract will be supervised by an international engineering supervision company whose contract is about to be effected, he added.

The supervising contract is to be managed by the Vanuatu Project Management Unit (VPMU) in conjunction with World Bank’s Technical Fiduciary Services Unit which provides technical support.

Port Vila’s Bauerfield Airport is the main gateway to Vanuatu, but approximately 88,000 passengers enter Pekoa annually including an estimated 8,000 international tourists while 43,000 passengers utilize Whitegrass Airport including a few thousand tourists.

VAIP Lot 1 works, the contract for which was signed earlier this month with CCECC and NCAACC include: modifications at Bauerfield International Airport to allow the airport to cater for Code E aircraft operations; reconstruction of the main runway and taxiway; reconstruction of existing aprons; widening and extension works; construction of new stub taxiways and holding bays and geometric improvements to airport infrastructures (layout and turning nodes for smoother rides).

The VAIP Lot 2 works will include: design and resurfacing of the main runway at Pekoa; improvements to taxiway and shoulders at Pekoa airport; design and surfacing of the main runway at Whitegrass and improvements to taxiway and shoulders at Whitegrass.

At the contract signing ceremony Monday were representatives of government ministries, AVL management and Board, and the tourism sector.

Jonas Cullwick, a former General Manager of VBTC is now a Senior Journalist with the Daily Post. Contact: jonas@dailypost.vu. Cell # 678 5460922

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