Work on the Central Block portion of the Port-of-Spain General Hospital is back on track after project managers, the Urban Development Corporation of T&T (Udecott), retained a local company to complete the steel portion of the structure.
The Udecott on Thursday confirmed to Guardian Media that Arima-based Universal Structures won the tender for this phase of the construction. Universal Structures is a subdivision of Adam’s Projects.
This component of the billion-dollar project came in at $103 million and according to Udecott, it is expected to take some nine months to complete.
Since May 2019, the Central Block project was in the hands of Shanghai Construction Group (SCG) but the company parted ways with the project earlier this year.
In January it was reported that SCG had served a termination notice to Udecott and since then there has been much public wrangling over why the multi-national company quit the billion-dollar project.
It was initially speculated and reported that the company called it quits over delayed payments on the project.
Correspondence exchanged between SGC and Udecott made its way into the public domain and was dissected at length.
According to reports, SCG listed an unexpected extra US$9 million in freight costs and a delay in steel imports that left 40 workers idle for four months among its complaints.
It was also reported that the two-year-long pandemic and subsequent border shutdowns forced SCG to fire Chinese subcontractors and hire local firms at a “higher cost and extra time.”
Chairman of Udecott Noel Garcia hosted a series of media conferences in the first three months of the year providing details on why the contract with SCG fell apart.
Last month, Garcia confirmed that the already pricey project would need an additional $110 million and an additional two years to complete but would be done now using local contractors.
The project was broken down into seven phases, with the completion of the steel segment being the first part.