Cab­i­net ap­proves Beit­bridge high­way EPC agree­ment

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business - Mid­lands Cor­re­spon­dent

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

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