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Monday 23.07.2018 | Name days: Magda, Magone, Mērija
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Without cheap labour, Liepaja prison construction may take a while

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUBecause projects submitted by different construction companies for Liepaja prison exceed the funding that is available for the project, it is planned to cease the procurement. A new one will be announced soon, said Justice Ministry’s state secretary Raivis Kronbergs after a government meeting on Tuesday, 22 August.

He said that last year the ministry had promised to inform the government of the contenders’ submitted offers in the procurement to take the project further. Under influence from construction cost rise, the submitted offers exceed the funding allocated for the project. This is why the Cabinet of Ministers has been given three solutions.

According to the ministry’s state secretary, it was concluded in the conversation with Finance Ministry that the best solution for the country and fiscal space would be ending the current procurement and starting talks with builders in relation to the price and construction terms. «This means not rushing the construction process to avoid burdening the budget and extending the construction term until 2023,» said Kronbergs.

At the same time, he said there are plans to start construction as soon as possible, considering that funding is available for the first construction years.

Kronbergs did not reveal any detailed information regarding any of the offers. He only said that funding matters are currently based on estimates. The government will be informed of a solid plan later.

The government meeting’s decision project provided for ordering Justice Ministry to submit the necessary amendments to the project by 15 September and allocating additional expenses for the construction of the prison of EUR 29,288,844 in 2021, EUR 28,968,537 in 2022 and EUR 30,878,074.

As it is known, two construction companies – Re&Re and UPB – had submitted projects for the construction of a new prison in Liepaja. Information stated in their applications shows that UPB offered performing all construction work for EUR 114,120,357 (plus VAT) and Re&Re – for EUR 123,416,618.

The prison construction procurement project was developed together by the Courthouse agency, Justice Ministry, Prison Administration, Latvian Union of civil engineers, and attorney office Sorainen. Supervision over development of the prison construction process was performed by Estonian State Real Estate Agency.

The prison project also provides for multiple innovations that have not been seen in either Latvia’s or Estonia’s prison system. For example, one innovative solution provides for excluding the possibility of convicts coming into contact with one another during transport. Strategic placement of guard posts will reduce the number of guards. All cell block walls will be built using an additional layer of anti-radio wave metal to block off mobile network connectivity to 95% and ensure isolation. Infrared surveillance cameras will be placed as well. A new type of remote cell door system will allow for a reduced number of guards.

The prison will be able to hold 1,200 convicts. The entire prison complex will consist of eight buildings with a total area of 305,116 m2. The area of the prison complex itself will be 64,053 m2. The prison complex will be situated 5.6 km away from Liepaja city centre.

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