New National Stadium is a Work in Progress

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August 20, 2009

THE ERECTION of the Bahamas National Stadium will pump $12 to $18 million into Bahamian construction materials suppliers, a Chinese project manager said yesterday, while the overall cost of the project has grown since it broke ground.

Yiqing Sun, the technical manager for the stadium project, said some minor changes have been made to the stadium plans which could raise the cost of building the facility.

?With the development of time maybe we will have a little change. We are paying higher than according to the plan,? said Mr Sun. Much of the materials and manpower, though, is being sourced from China.

During a tour of the new facility, Chinese and Bahamian contractors, along with the Chinese Ambassador to the Bahamas, showed off its main features to several government ministers, including Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette and Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Desmond Bannister.

The ministers were shown innovations in Chinese construction and tests that verify the fortitude of construction materials, including steel rebar with welded joints stronger than the moulded rebar itself, and concrete block made with Bahamian-supplied concrete,
which stood up to pressures twice its limit.

Mr Symonette relished the fact that the concrete which made up the block tested by Chinese workers was Bahamian-made.

Mr Bannister said construction of the new Stadium will bring international competitions, currently not able to be held in the Bahamas, to this nation. He said it will be the best facility in the region.

?We are extremely pleased with the partnership with the Chinese government, who have proved they are very good friends and have made a wonderful contribution to the development of our national stadium. We're looking forward to continuing this very wonderful partnership we have with the government of China,? he said.

?The ambassador has been a very good friend, and has been extremely helpful in everything that we have been doing.?

Mr Symonette said 75 per cent of the pylons, which will be buried more than 40 feet into the bedrock at the site and support the foundation for the stadium, are in place. The stadium will require 620 of those pylons.

Much of the equipment used in the construction thus far has been acquired from Bahamian companies, according to Mr Sun.

?We have built relationships with local small companies. The blocks and sand are provided by a local company, and much of the equipment on the site is proved by a local company,? he said.

?Many materials are delivered from China here, so it helps the local shipping companies.?

Mr Bannister said the Chinese investment in the Bahamian economy was huge, especially in securing equipment and supplies for the stadium.

News date : 08/20/2009

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