Local and international civil work contractors were invited to the information session to learn about the Solomon Islands Roads and Aviation Project (SIRAP). The purpose of the session was to raise market awareness about the upcoming procurement opportunities, facilitate networking between local and international contractors, and to inform contractors about the procurement process under SIRAP. The session was very well attended by local contractors in person and international contractors connected through a virtual meeting room.
SIRAP aims to improve operational safety and oversight of air transport and associated infrastructure, strengthen the sustainability and climate resilience of the project roads, and in the event of an eligible crisis or emergency, to provide an immediate response to the eligible crisis or emergency. The SIRAP duration is from March 2019 to December 2024, with total funding of US$54.6 million of which US$51.0 million from the World Bank, and US$3.6 million from Solomon Islands Government (SIG). The World Bank funds are made up of a US$20.5 million grant and a US$30.5 million credit.
Component A of SIRAP covers the aviation infrastructure investments with World Bank project funding being used for major upgrades of the Honiara and Munda international airports. The international bidding for the Munda runway, taxiway and apron overlay is planned for next year.
“To enhance the resilience of the runway, taxiway and apron infrastructure at Munda, the existing pavement will be overlaid by asphaltic concrete, which is a more jet-friendly landing surface for larger planes” SIRAP Project Manager Mr. Tony Telford told local and international civil work contractors at the information session in Honiara on Friday 20 November 2020.
Component B of SIRAP is the Malaita Road Improvement and Maintenance Program. Mr. Telford informed the participants that the major procurements under Component B include re-gravelling and maintenance of Malaita’s East Road and North Road to Dala, upgrading of three bridges (Koa, Bio 1 and Bio 2) on the Auki – Dala section, resealing of existing sealed roads, and the design and build of a new Fiu River bridge.
“A nationally-bid contract for the re-gravelling and routine maintenance of Malaita main road network of 59 kilometres, including spot upgrading for climate resiliency and road safety improvements is planned for 2021,” explained Mr. Telford.
“Another nationally-bid contract will be the replacement of the Koa, Bio 1 and Bio 2 bridges on the North Road between the airport turn-off and Dala. These bridges are dangerously close to the end of their life and are a high priority for the Ministry of Infrastructure Development.” stated Mr. Telford.
Upgrading of the existing sealed roads is another project activity which will see appropriate spot repairs, drainage improvements, and reseal of Auki town roads and the road to Gwaunaru’u Airport. Mr. Telford said these works will improve the overall climate resilience and extend the useful life of the targeted road assets. This will be advertised for international bidding as of next year.
The design and replacement of the existing Fiu River bridge will also be advertised for international bidding next year at an estimated cost of US$5.1 million, using funds provided primarily by the SIG’s Economic Stimulus Package.
The information session also included an explanation to the civil works contractors of World Bank procurement processes by SIRAP National Procurement Specialist Mr. Rodney Konale. The session then concluded with the contractors being given an opportunity to pose questions to the SIRAP representatives.