Honour Award - China Harbour Engineering Company:Special Award In Business
Significantly improving Jamaica's transportation network
China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) has embarked on major infrastructure development projects across the island which promise to significantly improve the ability of both businesses and ordinary Jamaicans to not only efficiently commute, but transport goods and services from coast to coast.
Now managing approximately US$1.4 billion in development projects, the company is implementing the largest transportation network programme in the history of Jamaica. Its ventures also have the potential to open up new areas for housing and commercial development.
In the relatively short time that CHEC - a subsidiary of the Fortune 500 China Communications Construction Company - has been in Jamaica, its mark left has been indelible.
Originally contracted six years ago to undertake the government's multi-billion dollar infrastructural development project, the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP), CHEC's involvement has grown exponentially, to now helping to shape Jamaica's overall transportation network for years to come.
The Chinese engineering company opened regional offices in Jamaica in April 2010 after signing an agreement with the Jamaican government for two main projects: the Palisadoes Shoreline Protection and Rehabilitation Works, and JDIP.
This was followed by the July 2011 signing of a two-year agreement for the construction of a 68-kilometre four-lane North-South Highway linking the capital city of Kingston to Ocho Rios on the country's north coast.
The $US700-million North-South Highway Project was negotiated on a Build-Operate-and-Transfer (BOT) model, with key features being four lanes, a dual carriageway, as well as a toll plaza and service area. Lands along the highway are also being considered for housing and tourism.
The project includes three phases, the first of which - the Mount Rosser Bypass - was completed last year. This highway saw the use, for the first time, of Asian construction techniques, which were used to combat the geotechnical challenges in mountainous terrain.
The other roadways to be completed are: the Caymanas to Linstead and Moneague to Ocho Rios legs, which are both expected to be done by 2015/2016.
The 66-kilometre Highway 2000 North-South Link promises to significantly reduce travel time from Kingston to Ocho Rios.
For its outstanding and historic role in improving the infrastructure in this Caribbean country, and for the project management and technical skills displayed, The Gleaner Company is pleased to present the Gleaner Special Honour Award for Business in 2014 to China Harbour Engineering Company.
What they say about CHEC
DR OMAR DAVIES - minister of transport, works and housing
"Although CHEC is the main contractor for the MIDP (Major Infrastructure Development Project), a successor project to JDIP, there has been a significant change in the nature of its involvement in the Jamaican economy," Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr Omar Davies, explained.
"This change is best illustrated by the PPP (Public/Private Partnership) agreement between the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) and CHEC, for that company to finance, construct and operate under a 50-year concession, a toll road linking Kingston and Ocho Rios," Minister Davies continued, pointing out that "this project will be constructed at a cost of US$600 million and represents one of the largest investments in Jamaica's history".
Further, the Jamaican Government and CHEC are currently negotiating for the development of a US$1.5-billion trans-shipment port, as part of a new thrust to establish a logistics hub on the island.
"The GOJ and CHEC have had preliminary discussions on a range of other infrastructure projects, which the company is interested in financing and constructing," Dr Davies said.
He added, "I wish to place on record our deep appreciation for that company's presence, and we look forward to deeper engagement in the medium to long-term future."
ANDREW PRICE - general manager, Premier League Clubs Association
CHEC is in the business of infrastructural development, but it also considers corporate social responsibility an integral part of its mandate. In fulfilling this thrust, CHEC has been a major sponsor of premier league football in Jamaica.
"CHEC has done significant development in Jamaica, not only in the infrastructure, in terms of the completion of highways and even the Palisadoes strip to protect it from hurricane damage, but I think they have also dealt with the social aspects of the country by participating in a lot of sporting activities," said Andrew Price, general manager of the Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA).
According to Price, CHEC's sponsorship has "significantly assisted the premier league clubs association by providing financial support to the clubs to endure a hard nine-month season".
Importantly, too, as the PLCA general manager pointed out, CHEC's support for football plays an important role in fostering community building and youth development.
"They must be given credit for their involvement in the socialisation of young men in this country. CHEC has indeed invested significantly in the country," Price stressed.
The successful completion of the Mount Rosser Bypass of the North-South Highway landed CHEC Americas with the 2014 Jamaica Institution of Engineers (JIE) Award. This was the second consecutive year that the company has been chosen as the JIE's top recipient.
CHEC has constructed and rehabilitated several bridges, roads and other infrastructure across the island, including 27 bridges and retaining walls; executing supporting protective works identified by the National Works Agency; Westmoreland Bridge Project, the Rio Grande Bridge Project and the Christiana Development Road Project.
To date, the engineering company, employing more than 6,000 Jamaicans on its projects, has also made good use of local materials, boosting the local economy.
CHEC has also supported local sports through sponsorships and made donations to schools and the police in its drive to pursue effective corporate social responsibility.