Five firms short-listed for building Padma Bridge

Tender likely to be called this month
Munima Sultana
Five international companies from China, Korea and India are going to participate in the bidding for the country’s longest bridge construction across the river Padma with the tender likely to be called by this month.

World Bank (WB), which is coordinating the multi-financing of the Padma bridge project, has finally short-listed the companies which reportedly are those firms qualified earlier by Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA).

Although officials of both BBA and WB are tight-lipped in declaring the names of the companies before official announcement, it has taken nearly one year to complete the short-listing.

The BBA, the executing agency of the US$ 2.9 billion project, had called the pre-qualification biding on October 11 after rejecting the earlier one called on April 10 last year reportedly on the co-financiers’ pressure.

The World Bank demanded the fresh pre-qualification (PQ) bid rejecting the BBA’s first choices by citing reasons that the main design of the bridge has been changed after the PQ was called. They also claimed that the fresh bidding would make the companies from developed countries interested.

Officials said in the fresh pre-qualification bidding, no new reputable companies have shown interest in competing for the construction of the 6.15 kilometre steel-truss-composite bridge having road on the top and rail below.

After closing of the PQ bid, GS Engineering and Construction Corporation of Korea and Larsen and Toubro Limited of India were the two new companies showing interest. They were reportedly not short-listed.

The other companies which had participated in the fresh PQ bid were Samsung C and T Corporation, Hyundai Engineering and Construction Company and Dailim-Bam-VCI joint venture of Korea, China Major Bridge Engineering Company, China Railway Construction Corporation Limited, China Railway Bureau Group Corporation and China Communication Construction Company and Vinci-HCC Joint Venture of India-France.

They said the BBA is now working on opening the tender of the Padma main bridge construction in the current month as declared by the communications minister. However, they said it has yet to receive the tender documents from the World Bank.

The Padma Multi-purpose Bridge is one the present government’s priority projects targeted to be completed before the end of its tenure in 2013.


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