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Montserrat’s CIPREG Projects Progressing, Says Martin Parlett

Projects under the 30 million pound Capital Investment Programme for Resilient Economic Growth (CIPREG) are said to be progressing with several to move into new phases in 2021.

Martin Parlett, Head of the Project Management Office which overseas the programme said on Wednesday, the fibre optic project met both the targets for installation of the marine and terrestrial cables and also came in on budget. He commended Denzil West, Director of the DITES and his team for achieving this.

The PMO head said testing and monitoring of the fibre network is now happening. The Government of Montserrat, as well as the telecommunication providers Flow and Digicel are assessing the systems. As part of the arrangement, the government departments will receive its internet directly from the main hub. Parlett added that achieving this connection has brought resilience to the island’s communication infrastructure and greater capacity on the network. He expects to shortly announce the official project launch at which time the local telcos is expected to announce what their broadband service offer to the public will be.

CIPREG is a five-year programme from 2018 to 2023 which includes reconnecting fibre optic cables to the island, the hospital project, the port development at Little Bay, and two projects at the airport.

Parlett said preliminary designs for the Glendon Hospital are ongoing. “Next year we will see real progress and the groundbreaking.” The public can expect to participate in other consultations once designs are ready.

The John A. Osborne Airport is to receive a new air control tower under CIPREG. Funding for this has already approved and the contract for it’s construction is to be signed shortly the PMO head added. The new tower is part of maintaining the airport’s regulatory compliance.

The airport runway is also to be resurfaced under the programme. Works for this are expected to begin December 2020 into January 2021.

Final detailed designs are being completed for the Montserrat Secondary School’s block L & M. Nine new classes will be constructed The staff lounge is also to be refurbished.

As it relates to the Port Development Project, Parlett said five bidders have been prequalified for the next phase. Minister of Finance and Premier Joseph Farrell said Wednesday, he is pushing for the projects to be progressed as quickly as possible as the island’s economy is in need of the boost they will provide.