The Central Housing and Planning Authority is currently constructing a total of 10 elevated two-bedroom houses at Onderneeming, West Bank Demerara, which are expected to be completed by April, according to the engineer.The houses under constructionEngineer Darron McKinnon said that there were four contractors executing works on the 10 houses. He noted that on account of the rain, the three-month contract had to be extended with the new completion date being April month-end.He explained that the houses measured 30x20ft with approximately 670 square feet of livable space. McKinnon added that they were monitoring construction closely and testing all materials to ensure that they were up to standard.The cost for one of the houses is $8 million – $7.5 million for the structure and $500,000 for the land.Additionally, CH&PA Chief Executive Officer Lelon Saul said as part of the 2018 programme, the Housing Authority expected to allocate some 1000 service lots across the country namely at Linden, Cummings Lodge, and Perseverance.“We have 10 of 19 houses under construction. It is from part of our 2018 target. In 2018, CH&PA will be delivering 247 house units across the country. In addition, 750 houses will be delivered via public-private partnership,” he noted.While on a tour of the site, Director of Projects, Omar Narine noted that the La Parfaite Harmonie Housing Scheme is one of the largest housing schemes in the country with more than 8000 lots compassing six plantations of which Onderneeming is one.“Right now, we are doing 10 units and a potential nine units to commence in the next two weeks. Those units will be two and three bedrooms, the flat version of this (elevated) option, but those options will be two and three bedrooms, 600-900 square foot,” he explained.Some 758 housing units (530 duplexes and 228 townhouses) will be built under this Government to maximise land use and increase affordability, while building cohesive communities in 10 locations across six regions. The construction of the houses is part of the Government’s plan to make affordable housing available to every citizen, particularly Public Sector employees and youths.In May, the CH&PA held its inaugural Housing Expo in its Model Village at Perseverance on the East Bank of Demerara. The Housing Authority is expected to construct an additional 40 duplexes at Perseverance with each apartment costing $7.1 million inclusive of the cost for the house lot.CH&PA Director of Operations, Denise King-Tudor said that for persons to qualify for the houses, they must have an active application in the system and have an interview to be prequalified. Upon completion of that, they will be issued with a letter to take to their preferred financial institution for a loan prequalification, and would be placed on the waiting list.“Once we are ready and you are selected, then you will be required to pay the initial deposit and the initial deposit is dependent on the amount that the applicant have been prequalified for by the banks,” she noted.
BlueCrest’s site north of Anchor Point.BlueCrest Energy is continuing preparations to drill for oil in the Cosmopolitan Unit at its 37.5-acre site on the Cook Inlet bluff about 5.5 miles north of Anchor Point.Larry Burgess, health, safety and environmental manager for the Texas-based BlueCrest, told the Kenai Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday that the company’s 3,000-horse power drilling rig is nearing completion in Houston, Texas.It should ship out for Alaska soon and will take 45 days to arrive, at which point crews will go to work getting it assembled and running.“Once it gets here I think it will be the largest operating rig in the state of Alaska, capable of drilling up to 30,000-foot-long wells,” Burgess said.All 10 of the injection oil wells in the inlet will be directionally drilled from onshore. The wells will have a vertical depth of 7,000 to 7,500 feet and could extend out as much as 25,000 feet.“So these are very challenging and difficult wells to drill,” Burgess said.The oil will be shipped up the Sterling Highway to Tesoro for processing.Burgess said the site currently employs 48 people. Local hires have comprised about 60 percent of the workforce, until recently when that ratio has dipped to under 50 percent. The main contractor handling construction is Elkhorn Holdings, from Wyoming, but most of the subcontractors are local.“We’re trying real hard to hire as many locals as possible but, believe it or not, it’s not as easy as you’d think for some of those jobs,” Burgess said.While the construction phase is wrapping up, the community engagement process continues. Unlike Burgess’ previous experience on the North Slope, where the nearest neighbor was 40 miles away, at the Anchor Point site there’s a cabin less than 50 years from the pad, and other homes not far away from that.“Now, when you’ve got a 3,000-hp rig sitting on this pad, some turbines generating electricity, some generators and trucks with backup alarms running 24 hours a day, you’re impacting your neighbors,” Burgess said. “There’s nothing you can do about not impact them, it’s what we can do to minimize the impact.”He’s been meeting regularly with the immediate neighbors, as well as holding community meetings in Homer, Anchor Point and Ninilchik. He said the discussions have led to some decisions to mitigate the impacts on neighboring residents.The site needs about 10,000 gallons of water a day just to operate the camp, but residents were concerned that if the company drilled a water well, it could deplete the local aquifer.“So we made a conscious decision to not drill any water wells and we are having all that water hauled in by a local contractor on the southern peninsula, and that is at no small expense,” Burgess said. “Once we get drilling we may look at drilling a very deep water well on the pad, 7,000 to 8,000 feet deep, which would, of course, have no impact on the local, 100-foot aquifer.”The pad is surrounded by a 14-foot berm to lessen visual and noise impacts from operations. All lights being used are directional LEDs to mitigate light pollution, and steps have been taken to muffle compressor noise, as well.And though the site sits on the bluff, it’s a stable section with little problems of erosion.“The bluff where we’re located is very secure, and there’s foliage all the way up and down it, including big trees,” Burgess said. “And it’s not nearly as steep as in some areas; it’s fairly gradual.”The company had originally announced interest in producing natural gas offshore at the site, as well.“Which is currently on hold. … We have a huge gas cap on top of this oil, and we could produce gas from that field for 30 years, probably,” Burgess said. “But I think market conditions do need to improve a little bit before it becomes economic. But until this tax credit structure is figured out one way or another, all work has ceased.”Burgess has said that the potential production at maximum is estimated at 17,000 barrels of oil per day, with the drilling phase lasting five years and the operations phase stretching for 30 years.At peak production, that could mean a truck leaving Anchor Point headed Nikiski every 45 minutes to an hour.
Prepared by FFWPU ItalyOn November 28th, in Florence, at the historic “Academy of Sciences and Literature – La Colombaria”, a conference was held on the theme of religious freedom in Italy.The Family Federation Italy, held a speech, together with other Evangelical Churches, such as: Waldensian Church, Italian Mission for the Gospel, Assemblies of the Brothers, Salvation Army, Pentecostal Church and Christian Science.The conference took place in a morning session, and in an afternoon session, and it was organized by the ” Piero Guicciardini Association”, dedicated to the name of a man who was a point of reference for evangelical movements in Italy.Scholars and academics of the highest level participated, among them the Hon. Valdo Spini, Sen. Bagnoli, Prof. Margiotta Broglio.The discussion brought out the fact that, at present, it is extremely difficult to find interlocutors in the government, to bring forward a new law for religious freedom in Italy.So it was discussed to find alternative ways, among which to involve the Magistrates, up to the Strasbourg Court …It’s a new beginning, we’ll see. From a providential point of view, I think it is a leap in quality that we could dialogue with other confessions, with which we can take a path together.