London-based Allianz Global Risks, a unit of Germany’s Allianz AG, announced that it will act as the lead insurer for the second Orinoco River Bridge Project. At 2,140 kilometers (1285 miles), the Orinoco is South America’s third largest river, running from the Andes to the sea through Venezuela. Only one bridge currently spans it.
The new bridge will be 3,180 meters (nearly 2 miles) long and almost 25 meters (82 feet) wide. The cable-stayed spans are supported by four reinforced concrete pylons, each approximately 120 meters (390 feet) high. The road works also include other bridges with lengths up to 1,000 meters (3250 feet).
It is planned as a mixed road and rail construction over the Rio Orinoco near Ciudad Guyana in Venezuela. The opening date is planned for May 2005. The estimated value of the project is 620 million US dollars. Allianz’ bulletin, however, indicated that the construction period is expected to be four years, which would seem to indicate that the opening date is somewhat optimistic. Brazil’s Odebrecht Engineering and Construction firm is the designer and building contractor.
Allianz Global Risks UK is the lead reinsurer of the project, carrying a 38 percent lead line for contractors all risk insurance (CAR) and public liability cover. Allianz Marine and Aviation UK also provide cover for cargo transit risks.
Paul Smith, CAR Manager at Allianz Global Risks in UK and lead underwriter commented: “The placing of this project proved a challenge for the client coming so soon after the destruction of the World Trade Center and its affect on worldwide capacity, coverage and pricing. However, through sensible negotiation and the Allianz team approach to providing a mutually acceptable solution, we are pleased to be leading this prestigious project.”
The company’s risk consultants, based in London, are actively involved and have been visiting the site at key stages, reviewing hazards and providing advice in order to assist with the management of risks during the construction phase.
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