Guyana Resource Center
Set like a gem in the crown of South America, nestled on the North-Eastern shoulder, defying the raging Atlantic Ocean, Guyana's many waterways reflect the source of it's name "The Land of Many Waters"
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Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Berbice Bridge Company Inc (BBCI) said in a press release yesterday that ninety per cent of the financing has been secured from four shareholders and commencement of the Berbice Bridge contract is expected by the end of May.

The BBCI indicated that receipts from investors of Final Commitments and tangible Expressions of Interest amounting to ninety per cent of the total cost of the project have come in.

The cost for constructing the bridge is US$34M while the total cost for the project is US$38M.

The press release said that BBCI currently has four shareholders: CLICO, Hand in Hand, the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) and Secure International, a subsidiary of the Beharry Group of Companies. The release said that the final shareholder is expected to be announced shortly.

The bridge company said that the companies which have committed to invest in the project include most major insurance companies and commercial banks as well as trust companies and other financial intermediaries.

BBCI said that all of the technical preparatory work which utilised most of the time in the lead up to the construction start was completed on schedule. Preparations for the project included a 2004 feasibility study by international project construction specialists, the Louis Berger Group, which analysed the economic, financial, technical and environmental feasibility of the project and its developmental impacts.

The Canadian firm ND LEA completed the draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in October of 2005 which resulted in the issuance of an Environmental Permit in April 2006. The EIA included a Hydrology and Sedimentation study undertaken by Northwest Hy-draulics of Canada. Additionally soil tests of the riverbed and the abutment sites were completed by an engineering firm.

BBCI expects to have signatures for the design/build contract with the selected contractor by early May. The company that has been selected as the contractor is the European Consortium comprising Dutch firm Bosch-Rexroth and the internationally renowned British bridge-building company Mabey Johnson.

Bosch-Rexroth is a subsidiary of the Robert Bosch GmbH and currently operates in 41 countries globally. Mabey Johnson currently owns the licence to the technology that was utilised in the construction of Guyana's first floating bridge. This company currently builds 1,500 bridges around the world each year.

The Berbice Bridge will be built to a design similar to the Demerara Harbour Bridge but will utilise technology which is far superior to that which was available 30 years ago when the first floating bridge was constructed.

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