Chinese road builder fired in Fiji over delays

The Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) has terminated its contract with China Railways First Group (CRFG) to deliver highway works from 9-miles to Rewa Bridge on Kings Road in Nausori, the biggest town in Melanesian archipelago.

"Over recent months FRA has been working with CRFG to try to get the project back on track but these efforts have not been successful and the project has fallen further behind programme," FRA announced Friday (12 October).

The authority said the section of highway was a gateway for tourists to the South Pacific island nation and that "increasing delays to completion has been deemed unacceptable".

It added: "The decision to terminate any construction contract is not taken lightly and the management of the FRA has strictly followed the conditions of the contract in doing so."

Discussions with replacement contractors to finish the work have been underway in recent days, the FRA said.

The status of workers on the project is a concern for the FRA.

"We have also been made aware of concerns over the recent termination of workers by CRFG," its statement said. "The 9-Miles to Rewa Bridge project is the only project that has been terminated so if CRFG is unable to reallocate staff then they will be taking action to terminate those that cannot be put onto other projects.

"The FRA has no intention of losing experienced workers, particularly as they were not the root-cause of the reason to terminate the contract, so in good faith we are in discussion with other contractors working on FRA projects with a view to absorbing as many as possible into running projects.

"Over the next week we will continuing in this effort to support these displaced workers."

Image: Festivities in Syria Park, near the Rewa Bridge, Nausori, Fiji, in 2016 (Felix Colatanavanua/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)

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