EoIs invited for feasibility study, design of Guyana-Suriname bridge
The governments of Guyana and Suriname have invited companies to submit Expressions of Interest (EoIs) to provide consultancy services for the conduct of a feasibility study and the preparation of detailed designs for the construction of the bridge across the Corentyne River and approach roads connecting the two neighbouring countries.
According to the Request for EoIs published in Guyana Times on Sunday, the objective of the consultancy is “to conduct a feasibility study including environmental and social impact assessments and prepare detailed designs, drawings, cost estimates and bid documents for the construction of a bridge linking South Drain, Suriname, and Moleson Creek, Guyana.”
The duration of the consultancy project is expected to be for 12 months.
Eligible consulting firms are invited to submit EoIs for these services.
“In the assessment of submissions, consideration will be given to technical competence, qualifications and experience, local and regional experience on similar assignments, financial capability and existing commitments,” the invitation stated.
Consultants are allowed to associate with other firms to enhance their qualifications but should indicate clearly whether the association is in the form of a joint venture and/or a sub-consultancy. In the case of a joint venture, all the partnerships in the joint venture shall be jointly and severally liable for the entire contract, if selected.
Following the assessment of submissions, a shortlist of not less than three and not more than six applicants will be provided with full terms of reference and shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit technical and financial proposals to undertake the assignment.
Interested companies have until 11:00h on February 15, 2021, to make their submissions. All submissions must be in English.
Three hard copies and one soft copy of EoIs must be submitted in both Guyana and Suriname. Submissions must be addressed to Vladim Persaud, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Works in Georgetown and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Works in Paramaribo, Santosh Soman.
In the Request for EoIs notice, it was noted that the connection of Guyana and Suriname via the bridge will enhance trade and cultural exchanges between the two countries and the rest of South America. The bridge will span the Corentyne River from South Drain, Suriname, to Moleson Creek, Guyana, taking advantage of the most economical and efficient land and maritime routes.
“The project is major priority for both the governments of Suriname and Guyana. This was reiterated by their Excellencies, President Chandrikapersad Santokhi and President Irfaan Ali when they met in Guyana on August 9, 2020.”
The project is being implemented by the Ministries of Public Works from both countries.
In October 2020, Guyana’s Public Works Minister, Juan Edghill, and his Surinamese counterpart, Dr Riad Nurmohamed, had visited the site of the proposed Guyana-Suriname river bridge across the Corentyne River. There were three points of demarcation identified – Moleson Creek, Long Island in the Corentyne River and South Drain in Suriname.
Then in November 2020, Guyana and Suriname signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the construction of the bridge. The MoU was signed by Guyana’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Hugh Todd, and his Surinamese counterpart, Albert Ramdin, at the Presidential Palace in Paramaribo.
Only last month, France had expressed an interest in building the Corentyne River bridge to link the two neighbours.
According to the Department of Public Information (DPI), Ambassador of the French Republic to the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, His Excellency Antoine Joly indicated this to Minister Edghill during a meeting.
“The French Ambassador shared interest in the maintenance of Guyana’s vessels and building of the Corentyne River bridge,” DPI said, adding that Minister Edghill informed the French diplomat that they are welcome to submit their Expressions of Interest for the project.
Meanwhile, back in December 2020, Canada had also expressed an interest in constructing the bridge.
During an exclusive interview with this publication, former Canadian diplomat Lilian Chatterjee had explained that the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) is among several organisations interested in building the bridge.
In fact, President Ali had held a virtual meeting with Chatterjee and representatives of the CCC to discuss several major infrastructure projects in Guyana, including the Corentyne River bridge.
The Corentyne River bridge will not only link the two neighbouring countries of Guyana and Suriname, but also open up access to greater economic opportunities beyond them into French Guyana, and through the road network being developed into Brazil, and eventually further into South America.
Reports indicate that the Corentyne River bridge is expected to be a flat bridge from Guyana to Long Island in the Corentyne River and then a high-span bridge from there to the Surinamese mainland to allow for heavy marine traffic. This bridge is expected to promote the safe movement of people and products.
Moreover, it is anticipated that Long Island will become an economic hub and free zone that will also see major infrastructural development such as hotels, recreational parks, entertainment spots, tourist attractions, malls and farmers’ markets.
With the recent commitments to bridge Guyana and Suriname over the Corentyne River within five years, this project is expected to open up the pathway for other major developmental projects including the much-anticipated deep-water harbour project in Guyana.