10 March 2013

East Africa: New Road Links Ethiopia to Neighbours

Ethiopian Roads Authority awarded three construction projects to two foreign firms, from India, China

The contract agreement for the construction of three road projects that will connect Ethiopia with neighbouring countries was signed between Monmohan Sawheni, vice president of JMC, Zaid WeldeGebriel director general of the ERA (centre) and Gawo Lee, general manager of CGC Oversees.

Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) sealed a deal with two international contractors for the construction of three road projects, connecting the country with Sudan and Kenya, at a cost of 2.4 billion Br, on Thursday, March 07, 2013.

The first contract, awarded to CGC Oversees, a Chinese company, is for 536 million Br. The 60Km asphalt road construction, which will stretch from Dima town, in the Southern Regional State, to Meda town, located in Gambella Regional State, is part of the Mizan-Dima-Boma project that will connect the country with Sudan.

The construction of this project, which is expected to be finished within the coming two years, will be supervised by a local company, Classic Consulting Engineers.

CGC Overseas Construction, which signed a contract to upgrade the 96Km asphalt highway from Nekempt to Bedele, in Oromia regional state, six months ago, at a cost of 1.1 billion Br, also landed the 91Km road construction from Turmi town, in Southern Regional State, to Namrapuz, in Sudan. This is part of the same route that will connect Ethiopia to Sudan for 794.5 million Br.

"As we have experience in the construction of Ethiopian roads, construction will be completed on schedule," said Gawo Lee, general manager of CGC Oversees Construction, after the signing ceremony held at the headquarters of the ERA, on Ras Mekonnen Street.

Although the ERA is currently searching for a consultant, the project is scheduled to be finalised within three years.

Once completed, in 2016, the two road projects will connect Ethiopia with Sudan next to the 100Km long corridor, stretching from Assosa, in Benishangul Gumuz, to Kumruk, in Sudan.

The project cost for both roads will be covered by the Ethiopian government.

The third contract, which links Ethiopia to Kenya, is a part of the Addis Abeba-Hawassa-Moyale road project. The 109Km Mega-Moyale road project has been awarded to JMC projects, an Indian Company that participated for the first time, for 1.1 billion Br.

The construction of this road is expected to be finalised within three years.

"The company will make sure that the project will be completed on time with the quality that serves the country's demands," said Monmohan Sawheni, vice president of JMC projects.

The company is expected to upgrade the current road to a two lane asphalt concrete road. Each lane is to have a carriageway width of seven metres and shoulder width of 1.5m on both sides.

Construction costs will be covered by an 85pc loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB), with the balance covered by the Ethiopian government.

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