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CHEC rebrands; promises Mount Rosser bypass by August 6

BY BALFORD HENRY Senior staff reporter balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, March 18, 2014    

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CHINA Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) has announced a rebranding of its regional operations, including a name change to CHEC Americas, but says that its regional headquarters will remain in Kingston.

CHEC told the Jamaica Observer that, as part of its company's restructuring, CHEC Latin America has been merged with its Venezuelan branch, combining their portfolios, to form CHEC Americas.

"The regional headquarters will remain in Kingston, with sub-regional offices located in Panama City, Panama; Caracas, Venezuela; and San Francisco, California," CHEC's regional director, Zhondong Tang said.

CHEC also said it was working assiduously to complete the first leg of the North South Highway project, known as the Mount Rosser bypass, in time for Independence Day, Wednesday, August 6.

The North-South project will include a four-lane dual carriageway, toll plazas; a service area; and commercial and residential developments, including a business park, entertainment facilities, housing, and hotels.

The Government is providing approximately 1,200 acres of land for the commercial and residential developments. In addition to the US$610 million capital injection, CHEC will reimburse the Government of Jamaica some US$120 million for previous expenditures on the long delayed Mount Rosser bypass.

Speaking on CHEC's rebranding activities, Tang said it was fuelled by the company's "phenomenal success", stemming from the huge demand for its services in infrastructure development in the region.

"This name further reflects the expansion of our operations in North, South and Central Americas and the Caribbean," he said.

He stated that the company had made significant strides in the region, with its procurement of nearly US$1 billion in new contracts.

"As a company, we will continue to work towards international development, by seizing market opportunities and using innovative business models to ensure that our clients are satisfied and that our output is of a very high standard," Tang stated.

An overview of new projects being initiated, executed and completed in the Americas, provided for CHEC's country offices' executives from across the western hemisphere, attending its recent two-day inaugural Americas Division conference.

These included Panama's Colon Container Terminal Phase III project; a CSMA container terminal at the port of Manzanillo in Mexico; a port terminal construction and repair project in San Vincente, Chile; and an agreement to construct a dry dock port and industrial park in La Brea, Trinidad and Tobago.

Work is also continuing on the modernisation of Guyana's Cheddi Jagan International Airport, inclusive of a new terminal building and an extended runway, which began in 2013; and, following flood mitigation works in Grenada, CHEC signed an agreement to upgrade the country's Lauriston Airport, where geotechnical work is currently being done on the facility.

CHEC boasts being a leader in the areas of marine engineering, dredging, land reclamation, and in the construction of roads, bridges, airports and railways. The company has undertaken more than 160 contracts for a number of projects, including the design and construction of the two longest sea-crossing bridges in the world -- the Hangzhou Bay Bridge (36 KM long) and the Shanghai Donghai Bridge (32.5 KM long) --both in China.

Meanwhile, the Port Authority of Jamaica and CHEC have arrived at an Initial Framework Agreement, which provides the general terms and conditions under which discussions will continue regarding the proposed development of the Goat Islands.

Minister of Transport, Works and Housing Dr Omar Davies, in a statement in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, February 25, said that the project is currently being envisaged as a large greenfield project to be implemented in phases.

The first phase will include the development of an industrial park and the laying and development of infrastructure facilities. The industrial park will carry on the operations associated with storage, assembling and packaging of goods in light industries; heavy industry manufacturing; information technology; and skills training.

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