Inventure, the Dubai based glazing subcontractor for all glazing works has completed the installation of the glazed windows and balcony doors on the eight guestroom floors of the West Wing and two guestroom floors of the East Wing. The glass curtain walling panels in the Lobby Lounge, Speciality Restaurant, All- Day Dining Restaurant Ballroom, staircases and Business Meeting Rooms are all in place. With the onset of the rainy season attention is now focused on ensuring that the building is weather-tight.
The guest rooms and corridors have been dry-lined and plastered ready for painting and / or wallpaper.
The Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Subcontractor, Sterling & Wilson (S&W), is now working on the plumbing and electrical services in the back-of-house areas such as the kitchen, and laundry and public areas such as the lounges and business meeting rooms.
Electrical & Plumbing Works
Having completed the electrical and plumbing works on the eight guest room floors, the contractor is now working on the public areas. Activities include the installation of the power and lighting, hot and cold water, fire detection and sprinkler, telecommunications, and telephone, and air conditioning systems.
Two canopies have been constructed alongside the East and West Wings of the hotel. These canopies provide weather protection cover for hotel guests and the general public alighting by the main hotel entrance or the destination bar or attending events in the ballroom.
The concrete base ands side walls of the “Infinity Edge” Swimming Pool have been completed and the plumbing works connecIng the pool to the pumping room and dosing tanks have also been completed. The base of the pool is now ready for its final slab and tiling.
Main approach to hotel
The roadway, associated drainage and the preparation of the area designated for the tennis courts are also complete. The roadway is routed to pass under the canopies. Palm trees have now been planted in their final positions alongside the forecourt roadway.
Central Utility Complex (CUC)
The CUC comprises a bespoke trigeneration system (Heat Exchanger, Chiller Plant and Diesel Generators), Water Treatment Facility (WTF) and Sewage Treatment Plant (STP). The foundaIon works for the main CUC structure are in progress and bunkers have been excavated for fuel storage tanks.
Excavation for the service trenches that will carry all the utilities (potable and waste water, chilled water, electricity and broadband cables) between the Hotel Building and the CUC are in progress. Some of the pipes have already been been installed.
The original chain-link fence denoting the boundary of the site is being gradually replaced by block and stone walls. New boundary walls have also been constructed to separate guest areas from hotel service areas.
Granite Wall Cladding
Another local specialist subcontractor continues to work to extensively stone clad the external walls at Lower Ground and Upper Ground levels, giving a “local” feel to the building. The granite is all recycled rock from previous site excavations.
Members of the Hilton Development Team based in South Africa and Shapoorji Design & Planning Teams based in Dubai paid a follow up visit in late January. The teams reviewed the progress of the project since their previous visit in July 2019.
Discussions focused on the timing of the recruitment and deployment of the first staff to Freetown, the General Manager and the Chief Engineer. These two senior Hilton staff will work with the contractor to ensure that the testing, commissioning and handover of the hotel runs smoothly. The Hilton team visited a number of hospitality sites and also paid a courtesy call on Mr Fuaad Daboh, the Director General of NASSIT, who are the landlords of the Cape Sierra site.
Other Stakeholder Visits
A number of IDEA (UK) shareholders at home and from the diaspora paid a visit to the site during the first week of January. A team from the Ecowas Bank for Investment & Development, one of the main lenders to the project, also conducted a project review visit during the second week of February.
The recently appointed President of EBID, Dr. George Agyekum Donkor, who was in the country to meet His Excellency the President, also visited the site in March and congratulated the project team for their resilience and vision in designing such an impressive hotel.
Programme to Hotel Opening
The Contractor has advised that the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted both their ability to import materials/ furnishings for the hotel and the arrival of key arIsans to undertake many aspects of the finishing works.
The Hilton recruitment programme is also on hold until the COVID-19 pandemic is controlled. Consequently, IDEA have had to start advising NASSIT and other key stakeholders that it is now unlikely that the Hotel will open to the public before the end of 2020. We hope to get a better understanding of the revised completion timescales in the coming weeks.