HONIARA – The commencement of construction activities at the Tina River Hydropower Development Project (TRHDP) site would not have been possible without local company, Solomon Islands Explosive Ordnance Technicians (SIEOTEC), who have been responsible for the clearance of Unexploded Ordinances (UXOs) from World War 2 (WWII) within the project zone.
SIEOTEC was established in 2012 and its team includes local UXO experts. It is the first local UXO commercial firm which is responsible for ensuring that the Project’s construction sites are free from UXO. UXO clearance is a part of the Construction Environmental and Social Management Plan and must be adhered to in order to reduce and mitigate any risks associated with UXO to ensure the safety of construction workers and the surrounding communities.
Mr Sterry Lenny, Manager of SIEOTEC confirmed that their involvement with the Project started as a Subcontractor for OPEC System of Australia, an International UXO expert contractor during the UXO clearance for the access road. The firm also supported GapEOD, a Geophysical Survey Company subcontracted by OPEC for the above work. SIEOTEC then provided local EOD technicians and unskilled labour in the UXO survey and clearance work and assisted OPEC systems, who were the main UXO contractor for Hyundai Engineering Company (HEC).
In 2020 and 2021 Covid –19 impacts led to the withdrawal of some international subcontractors on the Project which also includes OPEC Systems and GapEOD. Having gained a lot of trust and confidence in SIETOC capacity, HEC awarded the UXO contract to the firm and have since become the main UXO subcontractor for the Project.
The areas in which SIEOTEC have completed the UXO clearance assignments are at Lot 1, Lot 2, and Lot 3, including the HEC office site, disposal sites 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 as well as the dam access, tank surge, switch yard, and batch plant.
SIEOTEC undertake the UXO work according to the Project’s UXO Construction Management Plans and also applies its Standard Operating Procedures which are align and complimentary to the Project UXO Management Plans.
The Tina River Hydropower Development Project is being implemented by the Solomon Islands Government with financing and support from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, the Asian Development Bank, the Government of Australia, the Green Climate Fund, Korea EX-IM Economic Development Cooperation Fund, and the World Bank. SIEOTEC is an important local partner helping in the construction stage of the Project. Their business has continued to expand since being award the contract and are now well equipped to take on similar roles as the country continues to implement more infrastructure projects. — ENDS//