Cabinet approves EPC for highway dualisation

Source: Cabinet approves EPC for highway dualisation | The Herald November 25, 2016

Munyaradzi Musiiwa Midlands Correspondent—

CABINET has approved the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) agreement for the $3-billion Beitbridge-Chirundu dualisation project, a senior Government official has said.EPC is when the engineering and construction contractor carries out a detailed engineering design of the project, procure all the equipment and materials necessary, and then constructs to deliver a functioning facility or asset to its clients.

Chinese firm, China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC), won the tender for the construction of the Beitbridge-Chirundu Highway, which would be financed by an Austrian Company Geiger International.

In an interview in Mvuma on Wednesday, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo said the EPC agreement would be preceded by a concession agreement, which would see funds disbursed by the contractor to start work on the dualisation of the highway.

“Cabinet recently approved the EPC agreement, which would pave way for the contractor to come up with designs and bring their equipment into the country.”

“On Wednesday next week, we are going to be signing the concession agreement, which would see funds being injected to kick-start the project.

“We expect that in the first week of December, President Mugabe would preside over the ground-breaking ceremony to mark the beginning of the construction of the highway,” he added.

Dr Gumbo said the project would be done in two phases, with the first section from Beitbridge to Harare being done on Public Private Partnership/Build Operate and Transfer (PPP/BOT) basis, and it is full dualisation.

He said the second section would be done through a loan facility.

The development is going to restore the highway as an artery and hub of Sadc’s road transport network linking Southern Africa with the rest of Africa.

The Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu Highway facilitates the movement of millions of people between Southern Africa and central, east and north Africa, while also facilitating regional trade. Work on the 897km stretch from Chirundu to Beitbridge, which could gobble an estimated $2,7 billion, is expected to be completed within the next three years.

The project was once stalled due to a court challenge by Zim Highways Consortium, a grouping of local firms that had initially been awarded the tender in 2002, but allegedly failed to raise the required capital.

This resulted in the withdrawal of the tender and in turn the consortium approached the courts for relief.

However, the dispute between Government and the consortium was resolved last year, with Secretary for Transport and Infrastructural Development Munesu Munodawafa saying the project was expected to proceed.

The rehabilitation and dualisation of the Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu Highway has been cited as one of the major projects under Government’s Zim-Asset economic turnaround blueprint.

The highway has recorded a lot of accidents due to the huge volumes of traffic and dualisation has been identified as a long-term solution to the problem.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 3
  • comment-avatar
    herbert 5 years ago

    I am a Zimbabwean practising roads engineer in Europe. How on earth can you complete 897km of dual carriageway road construction in 3 years. Do not be fooled. Unless all you do is fill pot holes on the existing road. How long did the airport road take you. Why do you not learn. This will not happen in the lifetime of this government.

  • comment-avatar
    Felix Kunakirwa 5 years ago

    Mugabe ‘s gvt stole 15b , this project only needs a fifth of that. Shame on you Mugabe.

  • comment-avatar
    jongwe power 5 years ago

    $3 billion in the hands of competent people could turn all major highways in Zimbabwe into freeways, repave every potholed road, and turn half the dust roads into concrete roads.