Govt penalises Sinohydro over SSKIA delays

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Government has slapped a P64 million penalty on Sinohydro for failure to provide satisfactory work and complete the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (SSKIA) expansion project on time. The government has engineered the move through calling up two bonds against the Chinese contractor.

The Minister of Infrastructure Science and Technology, Johnnie Swartz told Parliament recently that the government has called-up a retention bond for SSKIA worth P21.6 million and a performance bond valued at P43.32 million against the company. The SSKIA contract was cancelled last year July when it was 90 percent complete after the government accused the contractor of poor performance. The Chinese company has won lucrative construction contracts from government including the Dikgatlhong Dam and the Kang-Hukuntsi road.

The P550 million SSKIA expansion project was initially scheduled to be completed before the 2010 World Cup hosted by South Africa. The initial SSKIA expansion consisted of the construction of a new state-of-the-art terminal building and the extension of the existing runway to comply with the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) requirements.It is expected that the terminal will be capable of processing up to 900 passengers per hour, while the runway which was extended by a kilometre is now capable of hosting large aircraft such as jumbo jets. The new airport will have a new parallel asphalt taxiway running of 4km and 33 additional hangar slots.

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