Major infrastructural projects set to kick off

Tina River Bridge east Guadalcanal. Photo:

MEMBERS of the National Transport Fund (NTF) Board has approved the Annual Work Plan (AWP) 2017, that will finance more than 60 contracts for Roads, Bridges, Wharves and ramps under the development and maintenance components that covers all Solomon Islands Provinces.

The approval was made during The National Transport Fund (NTF) Board first quarterly meeting held last month.

The National Transport Fund was established in 2009 under the NTF Act (2009) to develop, maintain and manage transport infrastructure and services in Solomon Islands.

Funds for the NTF are provided for by the Government of Solomon Islands, Australia and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Under the approved 2017 Annual Work Plan, major transport infrastructure projects that are planned for 2017 includes the rehabilitation of Mbokokimbo to Aola Road including Bridges on East Guadalcanal; the reconstruction of Bwara Bridge at Makira; the prefeasibility study of the Kirakira wharf redevelopment in Makira; the new Holokama bridge in Isabel; East Malaita road rehabilitation, re-sealing of the Noro Township Roads in Western Province; the repairs of roads in Gizo, Lata as well as other Provincial centres.

A total of 33 transport network maintenance contracts with an estimated value of SBD 38.5 million are planned to be procured this year and will run up to year 2020 (3 year contracts).

In this context and for achieving the expected results for the development of the transport infrastructure of Solomon Islands, the Board has approved a budget of SBD 3.9 million for further training of engineers and civil works supervisors of the Central Project Implementation Unit of the Ministry of Infrastructure Development.

Training will also be provided for national contractors to further enhance their capacity to implement contracts. The 2nd NTF Quarterly Board meeting for 2017 will occur in June 2017.

This meeting will focus on the progress of works and other transport infrastructure financing related issues. Any major changes to the approved 2017 AWP will also be submitted to the Board for approval during this meeting.