France signals interest in constructing Corentyne River bridge
…to submit EoI
France has expressed an interest in building the Corentyne River bridge which will link the South American nations of Guyana and Suriname.
This was revealed in a statement released by the Department of Public Information (DPI) which noted that on Monday, Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill met with Ambassador of the French Republic to the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, His Excellency Antoine Joly and team.
The visiting delegation comprised the Ambassador along with Jean-Francois Gerin, Christophe Sureau, Christine Sureau, Yorgo Hernandez and Philippe Lamoure.
It was explained that during the meeting, prospective areas for future collaboration were discussed.
“The French Ambassador shared interest in the maintenance of Guyana’s vessels and building of the Corentyne River bridge,” the statement noted.
Minister Edghill said the French will be more than welcomed to submit their Expressions of Interest for that project, as well as other projects on the transformational agenda of the Guyana Government.
The Public Works Minister also expressed his interest in building the capacity of the local workforce through collaboration with the French.
He pointed out the importance of maintenance works to the local fleet of vessels, especially since two are currently in dry dock, awaiting repairs.
The Ambassador welcomed the thought of collaboration between the two countries in the near future.
in October 2020, Suriname’s Public Works Minister, Dr Riad Nurmohamed, and Guyana’s Public Works Minister, Juan Edghill, 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.
In November 2020, Guyana and Suriname signed a Memorandum of Understanding 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.
In December 2020, Canada had expressed an interest in constructing the bridge.
During an exclusive interview with this publication, outgoing Canadian diplomat Lilian Chatterjee had explained that the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) is among several organisations interested in building the bridge.
Guyana’s President, Dr Irfaan 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.