Cabinet approves Beitbridge highway EPC agreement
CABINET has approved the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) agreement for the $2.7 billion Beitbridge-Chirundu Highway dualisation project.
The EPC refers to a process when the engineering and construction contractor carry out a detailed engineering design of the project, procure all the equipment and materials necessary and then construct to deliver a functioning facility or asset to their 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 Austrian company Geiger International.
Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joram Gumbo said the EPC agreement will be preceded by a concession agreement, which would see funds being disbursed by the contractor to start work on the dualisation of the highway.
He said: “Cabinet approved the EPC agreement on Tuesday, which would pave the 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 groundbreaking ceremony to mark the beginning of the construction of the highway,” added the minister.
He said the project will 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 involving full dualisation.
The second section, the minister said, will 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. — @lavuzigara1
Minister Joram Gumbo