Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

Zimbabwe govt seals multi-lateral road deal with Austrian and Chinese companies

by Samantha Chigogo
23 Aug 2016 at 07:09hrs | Views
Zimbabwe yesterday signed a "framework agreement," with an Austrian construction firm Geiger International and a Chinese Company, China Harbour Engineering (CHEC), setting the stage for the rehabilitation, dualisation and upgrading of the Beitbridge - Harare and Harare-Chirundu highways.

The deal will also see the upgrading of Harare Drive into a ring road.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo represented the Government, while Mr Eric Geiger stood in for Geiger International, while Mr Vincent Wang represented CHEC.

The deal is part of several agreements that Government will be involved in to ensure a successful take-off of projects that have been hanging in the balance for months.

Addressing delegates at the signing ceremony, Dr Gumbo said the implementation of the projects would begin soon, adding that the cost would be made public in due course.

"The signing of this framework is an important milestone in the negotiations that will result in the implementation of the construction of this very important road in Zimbabwe through a combination of Build Operate Transfer (BOT) and Loan financing models," he said, dismissing claims that it would cost $2.1 billion.

"The section from Beitbridge to Harare shall be implemented as a BOT, with a concession period of 20 years, while the section from Harare to Chirundu — including the Harare ring road — will be implemented as a combination of a loan and private sector investment contributed by CHEC."

Dr Gumbo hailed the two companies that won the tender saying they were tried and trusted.

"The appointment of Geiger International and China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd emanated from the evaluation of five expression of interests submitted at the invitation of my ministry," he said.

"The consortium was awarded the project through State Procurement Resolution PBR139E of 15 March 2016, which was later revised and reissued as PB139F of 14 July 2016.

"Discussions carried out between the two parties at different levels have culminated in the production of this framework document, which will describe the summary of the scope of works, funding models, implementation and level of local participation.

Minister Gumbo said the agreement acknowledged the two formats to be adopted in funding the project.

"This agreement provides for the parties to negotiate and sign the specific agreements relating to the Public Private Partnership arrangement for Beitbridge to Harare, and the loan facility for the remainder of the project," Dr Gumbo said.

He said some work had already started including drawing up of engineering, procurement and construction contracts as well as financial contracts for the project.

Source - the herald