National Hosting Authority (NHA), China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), Solomon Islands Government (SIG) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) broke ground yesterday at the former SIFF Academy, for the 14.95 hectare national stadium projects which will be constructed by CCECC.
The PRC funded project will have a 10,000 capacity national stadium, a six court tennis center, an aquatic center, a public catering area; which is titled as KGVI West projects.
While KGVI East projects will cover the eastern side of KGVI School which comprises of an international sized and standard running track and football field, a futsal/hockey pitch and a multi-purpose hall.
The Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare, PRC Ambassador to Solomon Islands H.E Li Ming and SOL2023 Facilities Committee Chairman and Vice-Chairman for NHA Board Mr. Joe Sika were the keynote speakers at the groundbreaking ceremony.
In his address, Chairman Mr. Sika thanked the Prime Minister for his vision and commitment to unite and uplift the young generation of Solomon Islands through sport.
Mr. Sika also shared thanks to the PRC for financing the lion share of funds for Solomon Islands to get the facilities ready to host Sol2023 Pacific Games.
Mr. Sika further stated that, “The NHA Facilities Committee will be working hand in hand with CCECC to ensure that the Pacific Games National Stadium Projects is deliver to agreed quality, on time and on budget”.
H.E. Li Ming gave a brief remark on how the PRC and Solomon Islands bilateral friendship came up in October 2019 went Prime Minister Sogavare first visited PRC.
He went on to state that, “From that time the two country’s relationship has grown from strength to strength with tangible outcomes, the stadium project is one of the important outcomes from that successful and historic visit”.
Pledged the PRC’s support to Solomon Islands hosting the Pacific Games by stating “The 2023 Pacific games stadium project is the first major infrastructure project in Solomon Islands supported by the Chinese government.
“It is also the largest state of the art multi-purpose sports facility across the Pacific Islands Region.”
H.E Ming went on to state that in two years’ time the current ground-breaking location will be the heart of Sports City.
Prime Minister Sogavare began his keynote speech by acknowledging the traditional landowners, the government of the host province; Guadalcanal and the Honiara City Council members.
He then went on to state that “When these facilities are completed, Solomon Islands will boast on of the largest finest sporting and community facilities in the Pacific, For this I convey my sincere gratitude to the people and Government of PRC.
The Prime Minister then stated the Four key principles under pin the design, planning and construction of the National Stadium Projects; 1. All facilities must be multi-purpose. 2. All facilities must be high quality, low maintenance and sustainable. 3. All facilities are accessible to all users, especially users with disability and 4. All facilities are multi use and will incorporate office and meeting space.
Hon. Sogavare then reiterated H.E Li Ming’s words by saying that ”The seven PRC funded projects will be the central part of the sport city, that will host the majority of the 24 sports that will be on show at Sol2023 Pacific Games”.
There was then presentations from the Premier for Guadalcanal Francis Sade, offering a chupu (traditional food gift) to CCECC Country Manager Huang Pengfei, followed by HCC Mayor Eddie Siapu who handed over the National Stadium building permits to Mr. Pengfei and saying; “The application to HCC housing board for construction on the National Stadium has been considered and is approved”.
Mr. Pengfei then showed his appreciation for this and stated, “I can assure we can deliver the project on time and in good quality.”
The guests of honors and Cabinet ministers were then invited to do the official first dig of the National Stadium Projects.
The event was then closed by entertainment from Chung Wah School students and a performance of the Sol2023 theme song by Jaro Local, William Khadi and Amy Bauro.
The event was also attended by National Hosting Authority Chairman and his board, SOL2023 Facilities Committee members, SOL2023 Games Organizing Committee members, Government Ministers and their officials, Members of Parliament, PRC embassy officials, the Chinese community in Solomon Islands, Ambassadors and Consulates, NGO heads, and KGVI and SINU head staff.
The project completion target date for the whole project is May 2023.
– NHA Communications Unit