The Shanghai Construction group was awarded the best construction project for 2017 during the grand opening of the Faleolo International Airport yesterday.
Chairperson of the Board for Samoa Airport Authority, Va’atuitui Apete Meredith announced the Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure’s (M.W.T.I.) decision to award the Shanghai Construction group.
“After many inspections and site visits to view the construction projects on Upolu and Savaii, we are proud to announce the Ministry’s decision to award the best construction project for 2017 to the Samoa Airport Authority nominee, Shanghai Construction Group,” Va’atuitui said.
President of Shanghai construction received the M.W.T.I. 2017 award from the Minister for Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Papali’itele Niko Lee Hang.
“I’m very privileged and honoured this morning to make this presentation,” said Papali’itele.
“It’s a special award in recognition of the work carried out by the Shanghai Construction Group. On our tour this morning, people will witness the quality and I do believe that you will all agree it was a job well done.”
Shanghai Construction’s Project Manager for the Faleolo International Airport, Jerry Shi Linjie received the award on behalf of the corporation.
The 32-year-old said to the Samoa Observer that he was very grateful for the award and thanked the team effort of both Chinese and Samoan contractors in achieving the finished product.
“We are very happy with the end result and we are very grateful,” said Mr. Shi.
“I think we are doing a very good job for the Samoa Airport Authority for this project and also we will work for them again for the coming year to see how we will maintain the plan and working together with their team."
“The Samoa Airport authority, they have two guys that can speak Chinese because they used to study in China, so we are good in communication."
“We have lots of relationships with locals, first our company has lots of local employees and also we have employed a lot of local sub-contractors. The ashphalt outside is from Ott and the transportation works are from Silva Transport Co. Ltd and we have many materials from A.C.P. and Ah Liki."
“We have supervision from C.A. consultants and all airport technicians. They are always working together with us not only the training but when we install something, they are behind us on stand by and that’s good for the maintenance job later.”
The young project manager has been in Samoa for eight years starting work here when he was just 24 years old and has been juggling his family life in China with his work life in Samoa.
Mr. Shi said to the Samoa Observer that being far away from his family is made easier with the warm reception by locals, including the Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi who always jokes about how young he looks.
“I think the best thing about living here in Samoa is the people, they are very warm. Usually everyone greets me with smiles and always says talofa and we treat each other like a family and everything is good."
“Last time the Prime Minister saw me he said I look only 18 years old, I think it’s because how small I look to him, but this year he’s getting better, he said I look 21,” he laughed.
The Shanghai Construction company will continue to have a presence for at least another year as per the conditions of the warranty and to conduct any necessary maintenance of the building.
The runway and aprons of Faleolo International Airport are due to be repaved and new lights installed with funding from the World Bank. Other phases of the project will include the introduction of aero bridges and dedicated power centres.