Addis Fortune (Addis Ababa)

30 December 2012

Ethiopia: Roads Authority Awards Billion Br Projects

The Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) awarded a 1.1 billion Br contract, for two local construction companies, Gemshu Beyene Construction Company (GBCC) and Leul Yohannes Construction Company, on Friday, December 28, 2012. The contract is for the construction of a 47Km road, in Amhara Regional State, and a 23Km road, in Afar Regional State.

The project, which the ERA awarded to GBCC, is part of a larger project to construct the 119Km asphalt road that leads from Mehal Meda to Alem Ketema. The project to construct the first section of the road, which covers 72Km, starting from Mehal Meda, was awarded to Sunshine Construction. It is expected to finish the project within three years, from June 2011.

GBCC got the second section of the project, to build the remaining 47Km stretch of the road, ending at Alem Ketema. GBCC's contract is worth 915 million Br and plans are to complete construction within three years, as of September 2013.

GBCC was selected from six other bidders, including; China First Highway Construction Company and a Yemeni company, Hawik International Finance & Construction. In addition, six other local construction companies, including; Sunshine Construction, Enyi Construction and Yencomad Construction participated in the bid, in September 2012.

GBCC, established in 2002, has constructed different roads, such as Dire Dawa -Dewel (195Km) and Masber-Dina (75Km).

The road project in Amhara will connect local farmers to the neighbouring Mehal Meda, Alemgena and Akista towns.

Leul Construction Company won the bid that was floated on March 2012, for the 23Km project in Afar, for 254 million Br. Bids came from eight companies, including; Tekleberhan Ambaye Construction and Afro Tsion Construction. Leul is expected to complete construction within 29 months. This will be its first time taking a project from ERA, although it previously dealt with regional road bureaus in both Afar and Tigray, according to Zeleul Yohanness, general manager of the company.

"ERA did this purposefully to create space for a local company, which has no experience," Bekele Negussie, deputy director of ERA told Fortune.

The above two projects are part of the fourth Road Sector Development Program (RSDP IV) of the ERA, for which implementation costs are estimated to reach 125.3 billion Br. Out of this, 84.5 billion Br is allocated for federal projects, 14.4 billion Br for regional ones and 26.4 billion Br for weredas.

RSDP was formed as part of the government's overall Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP), and is in charge of the rehabilitation of 728Km of trunk roads, upgrading of 5,023Km of trunk and link roads, construction of 4, 331Km of new link roads, heavy maintenance of 4, 700Km of paved and gravel roads and routine maintenance of 85, 649km of road network.

ERA expects the total road network in the country to reach 136,044Km, from the 48,793Km coverage it had in 2010.

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