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Soccer News Sun, 4 Feb 2007

External works could delay completion of Essipong Stadium - Contractors

Sekondi, Feb 4, GNA - The contractors working on the multifunctional sports stadium at the Essipong near Sekondi, have expressed fears over the early completion of the stadium if the external works does not commence in earnest.

According to the contractors, Shanghai Group of Companies (SCG), even though the major structure is near completion with it being one month ahead of schedule, external works remains a major bother. Mr Zhu Yian, head of the contracting firm said this when he interacted with the Executive Committee members of the Sports Writers Association (SWAG) who were at Essipong on a fact-finding tour of the site on Friday.

The Chinese explained that external works were not part of the contract signed with the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports and therefore they could not do anything about the situation as at now. He said that external works on the stadium could delay the general completion of the stadium if not tackled on time, hence the need for the Ministry to facilitate the award of contract for the external works to commence.

Mr Yian noted that the external works must commence early March to ensure its completion before December this year adding that, "anything short of this would definitely delay the project."

The contractor said they have been informed of arrangements been made by the ministry to award the contract for work to commence but the process seem to be quite slow.

"Ours is just a reminder to the ministry that there might be a delay if preparations for the external works take another month, since time is going and the works must start now."

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He said his company would be ready to take up the contract if they are awarded but added that, it will depend on the time frame since the external works also requires some amount of digging and levelling. The Chinese therefore urged the ministry to speed up the award of contract for external works to begin in earnest.

Mr Yian on the other hand noted that work on the stadium itself has seen much progress and they are ready to hand over to the ministry by the close of October.

According to the contractors they are now laying the foundation for the football pitch and the tartan tracks, while the mechanical and electrical installations are also on course.

He said grassing of the pitch would commence in March whilst the tartan tracks will be ready in June with the fixing of the chairs also scheduled for June.

Mr Yian described the rest of the work as minor works, which will be undertaken in no time.

The 20,000 all-seater stadium, according to the contractors will have modern facilities such as a scoreboard, 40 rooms for accommodation, offices, conference and dressing rooms and a media centre among others. The stadium has 28 exit points with four major ones.

Source: GNA
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