By Taromane Martin
PREPARATIONS for the hosting of the 2023 Pacific Games in Honiara is progressing well despite the current set back caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare has confirmed in his nationwide address that 10 engineers from Indonesia were expected to arrive yesterday, for the constructions of the Indonesia funded multisport complex for the 2023 games.
Hon. Sogavare said the 10 engineers were expected to arrive in the country yesterday. The engineers are part of 16 passengers travelling on a chartered Garuda Airlines aircraft, that is flying to Honiara to repatriate Indonesian citizens from the country.
The PM said all 16 passengers coming from Indonesia have undergone strict pre-departure clearance procedures to minimise the risk of COVID-19 infection.
“Three citizens, three dependents of a Solomon Islands citizen and 10 engineers for the 2023 Pacific Games will arrive on Tuesday 17th November, from Indonesia on a Chartered Garuda Airlines aircraft that is flying to Honiara to repatriate Indonesian citizens from Honiara,” the PM updated.
Indonesian state-owned construction enterprise PT Wijaya Karya (WIKA) has been selected to build a Rp112-billion (around US$7.5 million) sports complex in Solomon Islands by the National Hosting Authority for the 2023 Pacific Games.
Director operational III of WIKA, Sugeng Rochadi said the multipurpose sports complex is aimed to be used for the 2023 Pacific Games, a sports tournament for countries in the Pacific region.
Mr Rochadi said the multipurpose sports complex is planned to be constructed over (an area of) 5,800 square meters by December 31, 2022, and designated to have flexibility as one venue for (hosting) futsal, basketball, as well as volleyball (matches)
He said WIKA has been committed to building the complex with quality standards, adding the building will be built to withstand extreme weather conditions, including typhoons and earthquakes, which are common in the Pacific islands, and will be made from local as well as imported materials from Indonesia, Vietnam, and China.
“We really appreciate the trust from the Solomon Islands government. This will strengthen the good cooperation between Indonesia and Solomon Islands that has been established for a long time,” Rochadi said, adding that it could be a good start for WIKA to handle such projects in other Pacific countries.
He said the project will use renewable energy products, such as solar water heaters from WIKA Industri Energi, a subsidiary of WIKA.
Meanwhile, construction work on the $13 million SI government funded Solomon Islands National Institute of Sports (SINIS) has been progressing steadily despite financial setbacks.
According to China Engineering and Construction Company’s SINIS site Manager Rongbao Qi phase two of the construction has been underway since the completion of the mezzanine floor slab, phase one.
The current phase includes aligning of steel frames for the roofing to be followed by the actual raising of roofs and interior work on the bottom floors.
The SINIS building is expected to be completed end of next month after construction kicked off on May 25th this year.