GEORGE TOWN: Works on the RM650 million Subterranean Penang International Convention and Exhibition Centre (SPICE) is expected to be completed next month. State Local Government, Traffic and Flood Mitigation committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said this was in time for the centre to hold its first function in March this year. He said the state government was looking forward to the completion of the project which will put Penang on the world map for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) activities. "The grand opening is scheduled for the middle of the year," he said when visiting the site yesterday with SP Setia Bhd general manager (North) Ng Han Seong. SPICE sits on a 10.11ha plot and was previously the Penang International Sports Arena (Pisa). The redevelopment of the place include various works like the convention centre, an aquatic centre, the multi-purpose indoor arena, canopy and a hotel. Ng said SP Setia was trying their best to complete the construction of the hotel as soon as possible. "We will look at speeding up the completion of the hotel," he said. In a separate development, Chow said an underpass to connect Bukit Jambul to Bayan Lepas is being planned to ease traffic congestion in the area. He said construction is expected to take five years and the developer is finalising the details.