SUNBIZ

FHL Tower Construction Delayed By Nine Months

The construction of a $65 million tower befitting high-end tenancy in the capital city, is nine months behind schedule, but not behind budget. Fijian Holdings Limited’s acting group chief executive
03 Nov 2020 08:06
FHL Tower Construction Delayed By Nine Months
Fijian Holdings Commercial Tower under construction at Gorrie Street, Suva, in October 2020. Photo: Frederica Elbourne

The construction of a $65 million tower befitting high-end tenancy in the capital city, is nine months behind schedule, but not behind budget.

Fijian Holdings Limited’s acting group chief executive officer, Abilash Ram, made the comment about the Fijian Holdings Commercial Tower, which is under construction at Gorrie Street.

His comments follow the revelation that steel for construction tower was expected to arrive later this month. “We have a completion date established for March 2022,” Mr Ram said.

By as early as 2020 to the first quarter of 2021, Fijian Holdings Limited is expected to launch its three dimension designs artist’s impression with potential tenants. “The issue is actually the market at the moment,” Mr Ram said. “Still, we got a lot of interest. “

Tenancy at the tower is directed at diplomatic missions, Mr Ram said. The tower will have 18 floors, two of which will be allocated for parking. “Appropriate consultants were involved and traffic impact study to get approval from the Fiji Roads Authority,” Mr Ram said.

COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic presented its challenges, given that the contractors of the tower construction was China Railway, Mr Ram said.

“We have some issues with the labour skill out there,” he said. “We are doing necessary arrangements, making sure it’s in line with the regulations, especially with border quarantine checks, to make sure that we follow protocols, if there’s a need to get in Chinese personnel to get the job done there.”

“Work continues with the maximum utilisation of the local labour force.”

The Delay
The nine month delay was on the back of obtaining necessary approvals from the regulatory authorities, Mr Ram said.

“We also had issues with the infrastructure, making sure the plan for the exit-entry was all done properly and necessary approvals, before we proceed,” he said.

“Eventually, we pulled ourselves above the ground. People were asking – what’s happening; we don’t see something coming up. But eventually it has.”

“With this type of building, because the steel structure frame building, a lot of work is required in the basement, which requires a lot of time.”

“I’m happy to say, that all of that has been done.”

Meanwhile, Fijian Holdings Limited’s annual general meeting will be held at the FMF gymnasium, at 12:30pm on November 19.

Feedback: frederica.elbourne@fijisun.com.fj



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