Ethiopia: Two Firms Win 7.3b Br Mega Projects

China Jiangsu also won the bid to construct the 4.6 billion Br Adwa Zero Kilometre Project, a museum which commemorates the Victory of Adwa, to be built in the centre of Piassa adjacent to Menelik II Square, comprised of meeting halls and recreational and fitness centres.

A Chinese and a local firm secured contracts for design and build mega projects two weeks ago that have an aggregate value of 7.3 billion Br.

Addis Abeba City Construction Bureau awarded China Jiangsu International Economic & Technical Limited and Geom Luigi Varnero Plc with contracts to construct a parking lot, a tourism park, a library and a museum, which are expected to be completed within a period of 18 months to two years.

China Jiangsu was awarded 1.5 billion Br for the Grand Palace Heritage Project, which comprises the construction of a 60m underground tunnel, a parking lot and a tourism park connected with Menelik II Palace. The project also entails the construction of a two-storey commercial building atop the parking lot that will house four basements that accommodate 1,000 vehicles.

China Jiangsu also won the bid to construct the 4.6 billion Br Adwa Zero Kilometre Project, a museum which commemorates the Victory of Adwa, to be built in the centre of Piassa adjacent to Menelik II Square, comprised of meeting halls and recreational and fitness centres.

Varnero secured the construction of a three-storey library in Arat Kilo valued at 1.1 billion Br. The library will have reading rooms with state-of-the-art technologies and recreational facilities designed for all ages.

The two companies are expected to submit detailed designs for the projects within 45 days based on a schematic design proposed by the Bureau, according to Afework Nigussie, deputy head of the City's Construction Bureau.

"A technical committee at the Bureau will review their design for approval," Afework told Fortune. "The companies will be paid in Birr."

The city's Construction Bureau floated a restrictive tender inviting seven firms to submit their bids following a green light from the Addis Abeba Finance Bureau, after the City Administration's Cabinet approved the projects four months ago. The companies were selected based on their reputation and potential in the construction sector, according to Afework.

Along with the two winning companies, ALEC Engineering & Contracting LLC, China State Construction Engineering Corporation, China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), the Italian firm Elmi Olindo Contractors Plc and China Wu Yi were approached for the bid. China Wu Yi was disqualified at the earliest stage due to a late submittal of its bid on the opening date.

ALEC Engineering, a Dubai-based multi-disciplinary construction company established in 1999, is currently involved in the construction of a recreational centre and a museum at the Grand Palace.

Maheder Gebremedhin, an architect and a radio host, applauds the projects, but he stressed that they require strong follow-ups from inception to the final stage, stating that design and build projects are new to the country.

Maheder recommends that the Construction Bureau ensure the designs of the projects are in line with the city's structural plan and should have a stringent design review process.

"An independent supervisor that has experience supervising such projects should also be hired to follow up on the projects," said Maheder. "The experience of the design and build project of the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia's headquarters building should be taken into account."

"During implementation, it is important that knowledge transfer parameters and all the right protocols and procedures should be stipulated clearly to verify proper budget and time utilisation," he said.

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