CHICO awarded N$530m road contract in Namibia
A contract for construction of a road between Tses and Gochas in southern Namibia has been awarded to China Henan International Cooperation Group (CHICO) by Namibia's Roads Authority.
The value of the construction contract is N$530 million (approx. US$36 million). The start date and contract duration have not been disclosed.
The scope of the contract is to rehabilitate the 87.8 km road section between Tses intersection and Gochas intersection on the TR1/3 from Keetmanshoop to Mariental.
The tender for the project was advertised in July 2019. According to a news report by The Namibian newspaper, other companies that bid for the contract included: China State Construction, Zhongmei Engineering Group, China Jiangxi International, China Geo-Engineering Corporation, Synohydro, Otjomuise JV, Shanxi Mechanical JV, WBHO Construction, Unik Construction, NCR Joint Venture, Avic-International project Engineering and Shanxi Construction Investment Group.
The CEO of the Roads Authority, Conrad Lutombi, is reported to have confirmed that China Henan International Cooperation group was awarded the tender.
"Due to the nature, size and complexity of this project, the procurement process was conducted through an open international bidding method in accordance with section 30 of the Public Procurement Act," said Mr Lutombi.
Speaking further, Mr Lutombi said an open international bidding method allows any company, both international and local, to bid for a tender that is within their scope of expertise.
According to Mr Lutombi, The tender award was as per the terms and conditions of the financing agreement between the Roads Authority and KfW of Germany as the funding partner, which dictated that this procurement should involve open international bidding. "The selected company met all the qualification criteria and was the bidder who scored the highest during evaluation, with the lowest rates," he said.
While commenting on the contract award, Mr Lutombi also responded to accusations that the Roads Authority was sidelining local Namibia companies in the award of construction companies. Lutombi said concerns that the Roads Authority is sideling local companies are unfounded and not factual.
"Where development partners are involved, the Roads Authority must comply with terms and conditions of the financing agent - especially on the international bidding requirement," he said.
Mr Lutombi added that it is also a requirement of the Roads Authority that foreign contractors awarded contracts must offer skills transfer to local SMEs during the construction of a project. Speaking further he stated that "It is also a requirement that a certain percentage of the total contract amount is allocated to SMEs and subcontractors who are wholly owned and managed by Namibian citizens".
According to Mr. Lutombi, the Roads Authority made provision in this particular contract to ensure that Namibian contractors and SMEs benefit from the project. On this project, "the contract awarded is N$530 million, and about 20% of that amount, N$120 million, will benefit local contractors and SMEs" he said.
Photo: Namibia on Map of Africa with Flag (Hyotographics | Dreamstime)