Unitech signs K141m agreement

National, Normal

A MEMORANDUM of understanding (MoU) has been signed between the University of Technology and Chinese state-owned construction heavyweight, Guangdong Foreign Construction company Ltd, to pursue cooperation to develop teaching and learning facilities and infrastructure in the university.
Unitech plans to undertake expansion and improvement of its teaching and learning facilities and infrastructure both at the main Taraka campus as well as in the incorporated campuses at Bulolo, Unitech Lae School of Nursing and Timber and Forestry Training College (TFTC), Bumbu, to the tune of K141 million over the next few years.
A submission for the project was being made to the Minister for Higher Education, Research and Science and Technology, Michael Ogio to take to the National Executive Council. It was hoped that upon NEC approval, the Finance and Treasury Department would apply for a concessional loan from the Export-Import Bank of China to fund the project.
The MoU signed with Guangdong Foreign Construction Company was in anticipation of the funding being secured and for the company to undertake construction of the project. One of the main conditions of concessional loans by the Export-Import Bank of China was that the construction work on funded projects are undertaken by Chinese state-owned companies.
The agreement stated that Guangdong Foreign Construction Company would be the general contractor, responsible for works including geotechnical investigation, design and construction of the project.
The company would engage local contractors for architectural and engineering design.
The project was proposed to commence at the end of next year and completed before 2015. All detailed matters concerning the project would be stated in the design and construction contract to be signed once funding had been secured.
Included in the proposed project were lecture theatres, a classroom and laboratory to cost K52 million, library and resource centre K30 million, Unitech cultural centre complex K5.4 million, new students mess building K24.5 million and students dormitories to cost K29.3 million.
Guangdong Foreign Construction Company is currently engaged in building a new dormitory complex for the University of Goroka.
Pro vice-chancellor academic Prof Muhammad Satter, who was acting vice-chancellor while the vice-chancellor Dr Misty Baloiloi was on duty travel in Australia, signed the MoU with Guangdong Foreign Construction Company deputy general manager Guanghua Zhao.
Satter and senior Unitech staff Ken Polin from architecture and building department and university planner Brian Kakini were given a tour of the complex being constructed for the University of Goroka.