Three local and three Chinese firms will construct eight roads for 13.8b Br
The Ethiopian Road Authority has signed deals for the construction of 600Km of new roads at a cost of 13.8 billion Br. The award is the Authority’s third, but the largest, in the current fiscal year.
A contractual agreement was signed by Habtamu Tegegne, head of the Authority, at the Hilton Hotel on October 24, 2018, with three local and three Chinese firms. The total cost of the project will be covered by the government.
The construction is expected to be completed within 24 to 41 months, depending on the project. The projects include upgrading road networks to asphalt and building infrastructure such as bridges.
“It will be of great help for farmers that need to be connected to markets to sell agricultural products such as teff and honey, as well as livestock,” Habtamu said.
The Authority is yet to hire consultants for the projects, except for Torma Ber-Meleya-Sefed Meda Road, which is the largest project at over 118Km. Costing 1.9 billion Br, it will be managed by Classic Consulting, while the construction contractor hired to build it is the Defense Construction Enterprise.
The most costly project is Arsi-Robe-Agarfa-Ali Road, which is 53.5Km in length and includes two bridges. The project was awarded to China Construction Communication Company for 2.2 billion Br.
Another project awarded to CCCC is the Mekane Eyesus-Este-Semada-Sayint Road, which is similar in length to the Arsi-Ali road and costs over 1.9 billion Br.
The other Chinese firm that won two projects is China State Construction Engineering. It will construct two separate networks along Mesel-Cora Teru Road, for a combined total of three billion Birr. The only Chinese firm to have a single project, China Railway 21 Office Group, will construct the Jimma-Agaro-Dedesa road for 1.3 billion Br.
Yencomad and Sur construction firms have also signed contract agreements. The former will construct the 76Km long Adi Arkay-Telemet road for two billion Birr, while the latter has been hired to build the 63Km long Wiqro-Atsibi-Konoba road for 1.7 billion Br.
The Authority has been planning to reach 220,000Km in road coverage by the end of the second edition of the Growth & Transformation Plan (GTP II) in 2020 from 110,414Km in 2014/15. Nonetheless, only 120,171Km has been paved to date.
“The major constraints that have made it hard to reach the target have been political instability and a lack of foreign currency over the years,” Habtamu said.
One of the nation’s largest capital expenditures is the construction of roads. In this year’s fiscal budget, the Authority will spend almost 39 billion Br. Almost a third of the budget is expected to be covered from loans, while the rest will come from the treasury.
Just last June and July, the Authority awarded two road projects with lengths of 749Km and 279Km for 13 billion Br and 5.5 billion Br, respectively.
BY GENET ASSMAMAW
FORTUNE STAFF WRITER
PUBLISHED ON OCT 27,2018 [ VOL 19 ,NO 965]