The long awaited completion of the Koror-Airai Sanitation Project (KASP) maybe closer with resolution of a dispute that have delayed the project, according to PPUC Chairman Greg Decherong.

Decherong said the dispute arose when Progetti, a contractor for the ICB2 Package of the Koror-Airai Sanitation Project (KASP), failed to pay its subcontractor Surangel & Sons Construction for paving portion of the road between PVA and Cove Resort, citing lack of payment from Palau Public Utilities Corporation (PPUC).   The part of the ICB2 package included paving the road from CIP Office to Malakal after sewer distribution pipes have been laid.

PPUC Chairman Greg Decherong  explained that PPUC is not obligated to pay Progetti’s subcontractors and that the contractual relation is between Proteggi and its subcontractors.  “Our contract is with Progetti and they have to fulfill that contract to receive payment.”

“The contract between PPUC and Progetti is a different contract and PPUC have already paid Progetti $3 million but Progetti has not delivered on its contractual obligations to PPUC,” stated Chairman Decherong.

To resolve the issue, Decherong said they agreed to Progetti’s request to pay their local subcontractor from the remaining funds allocated for the ICB2 package.  The remaining unpaved section from WCTC Mini-Mart to Ice Box Park is still to be paved.

According to CIP Director Brian Melairei ,  the remaining unpaved portion of the road will be paved by Progetti before the Koror road paving project funded by the Compact CIP funds is to begin.

The Koror-Airai Sanitation Project, a $28.8 million dollar project funded through a loan from Asian Development Bank consisted of 3 packages.   The ICB1, which is the Collection Gravity Main from Meketii to Malakal, ICB2 the Force Main from CIP Office to Malakal and ICB3, the Malakal Treatment Plant.”

ICB1 and ICB3 were contracted to SRL and Pacific Engineering Projects, Ltd.  ICB3 include the construction and operation of Malakal Treatment Plant, before transitioning to PPUC.  ICB2 was contracted to Progetti.

The dispute has delayed the completion of the project so much so that the national congress (OEK) called for an audit of the project.

The project is to improve, rehabilitate and expand both Koror and Airai sewer system by replacing aged distribution lines, improving or constructing new pump stations and constructing a new treatment plant to handle a larger population.  The entire project was scheduled to be completed by December of last year. (By L.N. Reklai)