Work on Sal Rei sea port at near standstill 01 March 2012
The Cape Verdean government will pay more than 1,300,000,000 escudos to conclude work on Sal Rei sea port, on the island of Boa Vista. The expansion of the port, which was originally budgeted at 3.5 billion escudos, has so far swallowed up some 4.8 billion escudos. At the moment work is at a near standstill, with large numbers of workers being laid off.
The affirmations came from Minister of Infrastructures and the Maritime Economy José Maria Veiga, who was responding to questions regarding the alleged standstill in work on Sal Rei sea port. According to Veiga, the budget for the expansion of the port infrastructure requires an upward adjustment of approximately 1.3 billion escudos.
José Maria Veiga explained that the alteration in the original budget is necessary in order to deal with unforeseen problems that emerged as work progressed. “A series of works worth more or less 3.5 billion escudos were projected. Maritime construction always comes loaded with unforeseen circumstances, and there are always issues that depend on the seabed and that make alterations necessary. In this case, with the technical issues, the project requires almost 1.3 billion escudos more,” he explained.
The minister added that “only rarely does a construction project make it all the way to the end without any alterations. There are issues that end up being resolved during the course of construction. There are unexpected circumstances, extra work, new orientations that come up. In the specific case of Boa Vista, we realized that the sea is so rough that it made it necessary to resize the components. This is what made it more expensive. And the seabed required the dredging area to be expanded as well.”
Asked about the rumors that the worksite would be closed, given the various employees and workers being sent home, Veiga guaranteed that the issue has been resolved by the government. The cabinet minister affirmed that, despite the significant increase in the project’s cost, construction has not halted. “Right now, it’s all question of reorganizing the work process. This is the phase we’re in, but construction hasn’t stopped,” he stressed.