The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Works On Rwamagabe Power Plant Resumes

The construction of Rukarara II hydro-power plant in Nyamagabe district, Southern Province, has resumed.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure. James Kamanzi. He said, however, that the government and the construction firm are yet to reach a consensus on the additional amount of money to be paid following the firms demands for additional funds.

"Negotiations are ongoing but works at the site have resumed," Kamanzi confirmed in an interview.

Kochendoerfer & F.E.E, the German company contracted to build the plant, halted activities early in January demanding an additional $4.7m (Rwf2.9b) for 'extra-works' it carried out at the site. But the government says the company is asking for too much.

The firm is said to have constructed a new road, which was not part of the initial plan. A field officer at the firm told The New Times that they have blasted about 34,000 cubic metres of rocks, twice the amount they had signed for. The source also claimed the firm excavated thrice the amount of soil indicated in the contract.

Negotiations

Since then, government officials have been engaged in negotiations with the management of the firm to try and reach a consensus. A team is assessing the extra-works to determine the amount to pay.

"We have agreed with the company that works must resume while negotiations continue," Kamanzi said.

"We made it clear that their contract doesn't allow them to halt works under any reason. We also told them that we are always ready to listen to their queries and find a solution to any issue that might arise during the construction," he said.

Many of the German employees were flown back following the move, but they are expected back soon, sources told The New Times.

According to Kamanzi, the constructor was awarded a fixed lump-sum contract, an agreement that requires them to complete a project for a fixed cost or a 'lumpsum'.

Under such an agreement, the contractor is generally not entitled to claim additional money.

However, the lumpsum might in some circumstances be adjustable on account of a rise or fall in the cost of labour and materials, or on account of any variation to the works.

Efforts to talk to the contracting company manager yielded no results as his known mobile phone remained switched off for the last two weeks.

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