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Locals get lowdown on water project

Friday August 22, 2014 Written by Published in Local
Local contractors were recently told how they may get the chance to contribute to major water infrastructure project Te Mat Vai. 14051315 Local contractors were recently told how they may get the chance to contribute to major water infrastructure project Te Mat Vai. 14051315

Local contractors have been given an early glimpse of what the Te Mato Vai project could look like upon completion, and told how they could get a chance to participate in its construction.

In a meeting organised by the Chamber of Commerce, a project official made a presentation that included background information on TMV and options regarding the procurement and construction of the intakes, storage, and treatment portions of the projects

Project Director Evan Mayson with GHD (NZ Ltd) - the international engineering, architecture and environmental consulting company selected to draft the system’s detailed design - said an objective of this stage of the project is to maximise the  opportunity for local contractors to participate.

During the presentation, it was said that a number of factors are currently being debated by stakeholders at this stage in the project’s development.

Officials are considering whether the work should be the subject of a single or several separate contracts with different companies, and whether cost efficiencies can be achieved by purchasing construction materials in bulk.

“The more contracts you have, the more contract administration costs you’re going to have,” he said.

Mayson also said it still remains to be seen if there is even sufficient local capability to undertake all of the work involved.

Local contractors have been asked by GHD to register with the company if they are interested in taking on any work associated with the project, he said.

Once construction work has been “packaged up”, Mayson said a tender and bidding process will begin, possibly next month and running through October.

Speaking at the meeting, Chamber of Commerce President Steve Anderson made a pitch to officials to strongly consider local companies when the time comes to award work, saying “an overseas contract doesn’t necessarily guarantee a good product”.

“I think a project that is designed around local capability is a good project,” he said.

Upon completion of the presentation, local contractors were given the opportunity to speak up. One individual inquired about possible collaboration by Rarotonga-based companies.

Another expressed concern with the financial requirements that may be required to participate in the second stage of the project - estimated by officials to cost at least $20 million, thus requiring contractors to put up as much as $2 million in bond.

TMV Communications Advisor Jaewynn McKay said she was pleased with the number of contractors present at the meeting.

“The challenge will be to see how many can work together and whether they can form alliances,” she said.

Under the current timeline, a target date of late 2016 has been set for the completion of TMV, taking into account 12-18 months of construction time, which officials said could begin in December of this year.

The meeting was held at the New Hope Church in Avarua.