Five cos qualify for Padma Bridge work as financiers approve selection

Firms notified to collect bid documents
Munima Sultana
Five companies from Korea, India and China have been qualified for the US$ 2.9 billion Padma Bridge work as all financiers of the project have given consent to the government’s selection removing confusion over the tender row.

Officials said Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA), executing agency of the multi-donor project, has sent notifications to the qualified companies soon after receiving approval letter from the financiers.

They said World Bank (WB), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have given their consent to the BBA’s selection of the companies on Tuesday.

BBA qualified BAM-VCI joint operation of Korea, China’s Major Bridge Engineering Company Ltd, Vince-HCC joint venture of India, China Communications Construction Company Limited and Samsung C and T Corporation to compete for the work of the country’s largest bridge with road and rail facilities.

“With this, the tender process of the mega Padma Bridge project has started. We notified the companies on Wednesday to collect the bid documents,” said Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, BBA executive director and Bridge Division Secretary.

He said BBA is expected to receive the tender documents from the coordinating financier World Bank soon to hand them over to the short-listed companies.

“From the date of handing over the documents, the tender will be announced open,” Mr Bhuiyan told the FE.

The BBA officials said although the tender process has been delayed, time for tender opening has been taken to complete some formalities.

“We expect the tender to be called within July 15 to July 20,” said an official preferring anonymity.

The bidding process of the 6.15 kilometre road-cum-rail bridge has been delayed by more than a year since the World Bank rejected the first pre- qualification bidding in August 2010.

Although the BBA found the same five companies qualified in the second pre-qualification bidding, the World Bank has put the selection on hold since January on the ground of some queries including non-qualifying a Chinese company, which reportedly lodged a complaint with the bank alleging injustice.

Some 11 international companies participated in the short-listing of the bidding which was called in October 2010.

Once completed, the Padma Multipurpose Bridge, to be constructed at Mawa-Jajira point, will connect the country’s 19 districts with the capital along with ensuring regional connectivity.

The government has already signed deals of $1.2 billion with WB, $615 million with Asian Development Bank, $400 million with Japan International Cooperation Agency and $140 million with Islamic Development Bank to ensure the maximum possible fund for the $2.9 billion Padma Multiple Bridge project.


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