Chinese firm's tender for Padma Bridge work okayed

Chinese firm’s tender for Padma Bridge work okayed

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The Cabinet Purchase Committee on Thursday approved a Chinese company’s tender proposal for the construction of Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project involving Tk 12,133 crore.
China Major Bridge Engineering Co. Ltd has submitted the proposal for the construction work of the 6.15-KM bridge, the biggest-ever infrastructure project of the country.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith, who presided over the Cabinet body’s meeting, said he is expecting that the government will sign a contract with the Chinese firm in June and the construction work will begin in October next.“I expect the contract in June and the construction to start in October.
This will be finalised by the Prime Minister in the Cabinet meeting,” he said while briefing reporters after the meeting.
As per terms and conditions of the contract, the contractor will have to complete the bridge construction work within 1460 days (4 years) from the signing of the contract. The bridge’s longevity will be 100 years.
Though the government is set to award the contract to the Chinese company, no construction supervision consultant has so far been appointed for the project. The Chinese company also did not give any performance guarantee (PG) for the job.
Responding to questions on the issues, Muhith said supervision consultant will be appointed soon and the amount of the PG will be fixed through negotiation.
He informed that the tender evaluation committee, headed by vice chancellor of University of Asia Pacific Dr Jamilur Reza Chowdhury, found the Chinese company’s financial proposal substantially responsive and lower than the government’s estimated cost.
He mentioned that the Padma bridge project has a number of elements for appointment of contractors. Of these, separate contractors for two approach roads at Mawa and Janjira points and consultant for detail design have already been appointed.
Now a contractor for river training and a construction supervision consultant will be appointed soon, the Finance Minister said.
The Padma bridge project has been a long standing issue for Bangladesh.
The donor agencies including World Bank, Asian Development Bank and the JICA promised a loan of $ 1.9 billion for the project.
But the loan was cancelled by the donors on the allegation of corruption conspiracy against former Communication Minister Syed Abul Hossain.
However, the government dismissed the World Bank’s allegation and decided to construct the bridge through its own fund.
The Finance Minister mentioned that the government, keeping the pre-qualified bidders’ list in place, invited technical and financial offers from them.
Of them, three contractors submitted technical offers and became responsive for the project.
The three responsive companies were China Major Bridge Engineering Co; Daelim-L & T Joint Venture; and Samsung C & T Corporation.
But when they were asked to submit their second stage financial offers by April 24, 2014, Daelim-L &T JV and Samsung C&T Corpn requested extension of the bid submission date. But the government did not accept their request.
As a result, the Chinese company submitted its financial bid as the lone bidder and the tender evaluation committee found it responsive.
The Padma Bridge project’s detailed design consultant Maunsell-AECOM also recommended the Chinese company.
The government has made an allocation of Tk 8100 crore for the Padma Bridge project in the Annual Development Programme (ADP) of the next fiscal year (2014-15).
Of the Chinese company’s quoted price of about Tk 12,133 crore, the government will pay 25.60 percent in local currency and 74.40 percent in foreign currency to the contractor.   – UNB

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