Landholdings Limited is carrying out the $13 million remedial project to remove and replace 17kms of pipes laid by China Civil Engineering Construction in stage one of Te Mato Vai.
Project management unit’s Kate Woodruffe said efforts were being made to ensure the pipes being removed as part of the current ring main resilience upgrade were reused, where possible.
Woodruffe said the removed pipe was suitable for non-pressure water supply uses such as irrigation or stormwater.
“Approximately 17km of pipe is being removed, of which about 10km will likely be recycled in Rarotonga. The remaining pipe will be reused/recycled elsewhere in the Pacific.”
Tenderers for the stage one remediation project were required to allow for disposal of the pipes at a suitable location, Woodruffe said.
She said recycling of the material was encouraged.
“The contractor (Landholdings) has subsequently sourced and made agreement with a company in Fiji that will receive the PE (polyethylene) material for recycling.”
The project management unit is also warning public against removing the replaced pipes from Landholdings sites around Rarotonga.
“It’s important to note that the pipes remain the property of the Cook Islands government. Any unauthorised removal of the pipe from work sites will be reported to the police,” Woodruffe said.
The stage one project carried out by the Chinese contractor was deemed substandard. An independent report suggested 17km of pipe had to be replaced to meet the required standards.
The New Zealand government paid for the $13 million cost of replacing the pipework but Cook Islands government is determined to recover that cost from contractor China Civil Engineering Construction.
In Parliament last week, Finance minister Mark Brown said: “Under the terms of the contract, the contractor must pay for that remedial work and at the moment we are in discussion in arbitration to ensure that we recover the cost.
“However we cannot wait for this arbitration process and we must carry out the remedial work, because we have a timeline to ensure our water work is commissioned by the beginning of next year.
“The cost of remedy we are pursuing right now has been met through our arrangement with the New Zealand government at no additional cost to the people of this country.”
Brown also confirmed the $13m used for replacing the pipework was separate from the $90m earmarked for the project aimed at delivering potable water.