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$.7 billion in overruns at Tamana InTech Park
The dream of former energy czar Prof Ken Julien to make the Evolving TecKnologies and Enterprise Development Company Ltd (eTecK) a flagship complex may never materialise. Following discussions with eTeck officials on Monday, Manchoon said it was suggested that eTecK’s flagship complex in Tamana be turned into an institute of science and technology.
Julien had served as UTT’s president and was eTecK’s former chairman. In order for this to be achieved, Manchoon said, the Government needed to partner with a credible foreign university. The investors they are talking to, he said, regarded the Tamana facility as very important.
Both the UTT campus and the eTecK headquarters are on the Wallerfield site of what is collectively known as Tamana InTech Park, which was supposed to be an ideal location for investors. Manchoon said as the university developed, eTecK with the industrial park was supposed to attract tenants to develop high-tech businesses.
“So the research part of UTT would have fed into that.” Manchoon said with the coming on stream of UWI’s Debe campus, few people would leave South to go Tamana. “So we had to rethink the whole concept of what we (will) do with that building in Tamana.”
At least 60 per cent of eTecK’s building has been completed by contractor China Jiangsu. Scheduled to be completed in July 2010, Tamana InTeck Park was originally estimated to cost $1.1 billion, but skyrocketed to $1.8 billion due to cost overruns and variations from the blueprint.
So far, Government has pumped $1 billion into the project. An additional $800 million was required to finish the job, which would have to be sourced from the Ministry of Finance. Work is expected to wrap up in 2013. “Because of the time, we have to get the building delivered as quickly as possible from the contractors.”
Manchoon said China Jiangsu was owed $35 million for variations. “Work is ongoing but very slow because of no cash flow. The Chinese have been doing minimal work. What really stalled the project was the fact that the previous administration had variations with the scope of work, which was not properly documented. They deviated from the blueprint, which led to cost overruns.”
Another setback was as a result of litigation from engineering consultants and architects. “We’ve had a situation where some of them have sued because of the delays in the project.” Manchoon said they had no choice but to complete the flagship complex. “When we look at the various options we are forced to complete it because the other option would not be a reality. We would lose too much.”
Manchoon said his mission was to create a growth pole at Tamana and take the country forward.
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