BY ESTHER NURIA
THE construction start date for the Pacific Games facilities has not yet been confirm by the National Hosting Authority (NHA), again pushing the already tight schedule for having the games facilities and sites complete for the 2023 Pacific Games.
Deputy Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and National Hosting Authority (NHA) Board Member, Mr Christian Nieng, however said the NHA is confident that there is sufficient time to find more donors to assist Solomon Islands government in building the other sports facilities before opening of the Pacific Games in 2023.
“The National Hosting Authority (NHA) Board and the government are working towards equipping aid donors for the sporting sites. So far the NHA Board would not confirm any actual dates for the general public of any ground breaking and construction of the sporting sites.
“But we are confident because we have this year and next year to settle the matter with aid donors, and hopefully constructions will kick start as soon as everything is properly finalised. While apart from these groundbreaking and actual constructions, the NHA Board will soon to launch the 2023 Pacific Theme Song, the 2023 Logo and the 2023 Pacific Games Head Office in the month of June and September of this year.
“Apart from the other sporting sites the NHA Board had already signed its Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Republic of China (ROC) Taiwan for the constructions of the Main National Stadium which ground breaking and actual constructions will be expected to start soon after Topographical survey,” he added.
He said that the main national stadium will take at least two years to build and if all goes according to the plan.
“Constructions should start next year and it should be completed in time to allow athletes to train on the synthetic running track. The estimated timeframe to build the other facilities is estimated at around 18th months.”
Once completed, the stadium will host the majority of the 2023 Pacific Games’ track and field events. Designed to International Association of Athletics Federations standards, it will be built by Fu Tsu Construction Co., Ltd, a well-established Taiwanese company selected by the Solomon Islands government. With a maximum capacity of 12,000 people, the venue will be perfectly suited to hosting the 2023 Pacific Games for the Solomon Islands government, and the facility will be of easy maintenance
The Republic of China (ROC) Taiwan is the major sponsor towards the 2023 Pacific Games, which was scheduled for 14th to 28th July 2023.
Nieng said the main stadium is seen as essential to helping the Solomon Islands meet international standards.
“ROC has recently confirmed in a signed MoU to finance the biggest project, which is the main national stadium, as a key project, which means that’s around 50% of the conceptual phase for the sports area between KGVI to Panatina.
“SINU field is completed because ROC will manage the rest of the project phase and according to the project timeline, delivery will be at the end of 2022, at least six months before the official opening of the 2023 Pacific Games.
“Apart from the Republic of China’s (Taiwan) fund, the government is hoping to secure similar funding arrangements with other donor partners for other sport facilities.”