$200M E-teck park hits a snag

On Wednesday, E-teck president, Khalid Hassanali, reported that principal contractor, China Jiangsu had experienced difficulty to source adequate labour from China over the past year because of visa restrictions imposed by Caribbean Governments for the 2007 Cricket World Cup.

The E-teck park is part of a billion-dollar technology, industrial and tertiary education complex in Wallerfield. The complex includes a state-of-the-art technology campus of the University of Trinidad and Tobago’s campus, an industrial estate, and the technology park.

Chief Immigration Officer Andy Edwards was said to be in a meeting when his office was contacted to verify if visa restrictions had affected the processing of work permits for the Chinese labourers requested by Jiangsu.

The labour problem however is not the only one plaguing the technology park’s construction. Site officials yesterday said local contractors have complained about delays in the allocation of funding to cover costs for infrastructural work.

One site official said the work done by local contractors was separate and apart from what was being done by the Chinese labourers. “What we are doing is infrastructural work, mainly telecom installation, lighting and waterworks,” said the official.

But another official said local contractors have had difficulty in accessing funds in a timely manner to cover the cost of the infrastructural work and put down this glitch to poor management. It was reported that in spite of these financial drawbacks the local contractors have been able to keep this aspect of the construction on schedule.

There are about 200 local workers at the site. Yesterday, workers complained that some of the tools which they were using were outdated.

Meanwhile, Tertiary Education Minister, Christine Kangaloo, yesterday assured that while Jiangsu had hit a snag on E-teck’s park the Chinese firm had not experienced any similar problem on the construction of UTT’s O’Meara campus. Although Kangaloo, at a post-Cabinet media conference at Whitehall, said the O’Meara campus should be completed by 2010 she did not say what was the state of construction on the UTT technology campus at the Wallerfield site where the technology park is also based.


"$200M E-teck park hits a snag"

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