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The U.S. Navy Support Facility (NSF) Diego Garcia is located in the Indian Ocean within the British Indian Ocean Territory (B.I.O.T.). NSF Diego Garcia is located south of equator approximately 2900 kilometers southwest of Bombay, India and approximately 2400 kilometers northeast of Mauritius, 4,723 km west-northwest of the west coast of Australia, and approximately 8,906 kilometers southwest of Guam.Contracted Scope of Work: The Replace Power Poles F1SA/F2S project was the initial seed project for the 5 year $240 Million dollar Multiple Award Construction Contract for the U.S. Navy on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean Territory. The program was procured as a design build and awarded to the Black Construction/MACE International Joint Venture in February 2018 with a CCD of July 3, 2019. The contract scope of work required the replacement of 88 deteriorated wooden poles with new concrete pre-stressed precast concrete hardware and associated guide wire supports. The scope also required cast in place concrete foundations which were designed to account for an existing water table that was 4 feet below grade once the new utility poles were installed. The new power poles were 45 foot in overall length with a weight of 8 tons per pole. Designers mandated the new concrete poles to be installed in the same alignment of both

the F1S and F2S primary and secondary electrical circuits from the north power Plant to the Air Operations facilities of the island. The symmetrical alignment allowed the majority of the existing aluminum conductors to be reused and transferred onto the new concrete poles. Both circuits provide mission critical uninterrupted electrical power to the National Defense of the United States in this part of the world. Both circuits required close coordinated communications with the Navy’s island power division to ensure the primary 15kV circuit was completely terminated with lock-out tag-out procedures in place while the existing aluminum conductors were transferred, secured, and properly tested for eventual energization. Phasing of the work from start to final turn-over became paramount to ensuring 24/7 uninterrupted power to be supplied to over 28 different users along the main thorough fare of Britannia Way. These feeders were isolated at each phase to safely and effectively complete the project within an aggressive 10-month construction schedule once design was formally accepted by the Government. Other materials replaced were hot dipped galvanized steel cross arms, 15kV insulators, 15kV Air Brake Switch assemblies, guy wires, brackets and other miscellaneous pole hardware to complete the system. All affected pole mounted transformers, power risers, telecommunication conduit risers and overhead cables were removed carefully from the wooden poles and re-installed on the new concrete poles. Additional electrical manholes were constructed to intercept the existing underground feeder cables from the conduit risers.

Several notable features of work included:

  •  All material procurement mandated U.S. Buy American Act compliance. Logistics are always challenging in having to comply with U.S. Transportation by Sea when working on U.S. Military installations requiring all materials to be shipped on U.S. registered vessels. There are no U.S. Maritime commercial carriers conducting business in the Indian Ocean making compliance very complex.
  • There long lead materials that missed critical milestone delivery dates which pushed the construction team to look at other work scope options to maximize time once those material did arrive on-island.
  • The geographic location of Diego Garcia exposes the project to severe weather at different times of the year.

The high water table most especially during periods of high tide made drilling for the new foundations not to mention concreting

  • difficult mandating the daily management of work around the tidal periods.
  • The F2S circuit is the vital power supply for unannounced submarine arrivals into DG. This circuit allows cold berthing and requires all work be suspended indefinitely.
  • The F1SA circuit provides power to other government facilities which require 24/7 operations.
  • The project schedule was affected by 2 unannounced submarine arrivals into DG which required the construction team to re-energize the F2S circuit while construction activities were on-going.
  • Some of the critical facilities on the F1S/F2S circuits are the Air Force B2 Substation, USAF PDC; South Entrance Guard Shack, METOC Radar Fac. & PD Tower; B908 South Apron Lighting; B904, USAF POL, B911, B912, B916, B917, PACAF Admin. Bldg., B948, Demineralized Water SPS-14, Control Tower Command Center were provided a 24/7 back-up generator set during planned outages.
  • A Lock-Out Tag-Out (LOTO) process was applied to ensure safety and proper coordination was in place before and after each outage since all outages and re-energization were carried out through the assistance of the NAVSUPPFAC BOS Contractor.
  • All Inspection and testing activities before re-energization was carried out by an Electrical QC Specialist.
  • All treated wooden poles were considered containing Hazardous Material requiring off-island disposal to an authorized disposal site.

Ocean and air freight costs to Diego Garcia is also a major concern as shipping costs for a 40 ft. container between the US and Diego Garcia is $40,000 each and air freight is over $10.00 per pound. Releasing a partial filled container for shipment in order to meet project schedule automatically places a shipping cost premium to a project’s overall cost.

U.S. Department of the Navy

Contract No.:

Original Contract Amount:

Final Contract Amount:

Original Contract Completion Date:
May 24, 2019

Final Contract Completion Date:
July 03, 2019

Start Date:
September 27, 2018

Contact Name:
Cecille C. Penaflorida – PMEB Director

Was Offeror Prime Contractor or Subcontractor:

Percentage of Work Performed:

Liquidated Damages Assessed:

Project Manager:
Rene A. Bautista

Customer Evaluation:
Final CPARS – Satisfactory