25 Aug 2005

ADB gives one month deadline for final draft on Marshall Islands loan project

7:25 pm on 25 August 2005

The Asian Development Bank has given the Marshall Islands government and a consultancy firm one month to submit a final draft on an ADB loan project.

In 2001 the Marshall Islands and the ADB agreed to an approximately 10 million US dollar loan for improvement of infrastructure on outer islands.

But a recently completed engineering plan from consultant SMEC of Australia, costed the work at about 24 million dollars.

The escalation in cost prompted the ADB to send a team, headed by senior project economist, Luigi Bodda, to Majuro last week to look at the viability of the project, .

Mr Bodda says the ADB feels there are areas where costs can be pegged back, and has given the consultant a month to retender within the 10 million dollar budget.

"After discussion it was agreed that the consultant goes back and will come (back) with, let's call it a final draft designer report again for the government and ADB consideration, hopefully with a much lower cost."

The ADB's Luigi Bodda