Showing posts with label Oxidized Asphalt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Oxidized Asphalt. Show all posts

April 26, 2018

Billion $ Motorway


Ralph Riegel

THE €1 billion M20 Cork-Limerick motorway moved a step closer with the Government formally seeking tenders for the design of the critical route.
The motorway development will rank as the biggest roads project and one of the biggest infrastructural investments undertaken by Ireland to 2028.
Senator Kieran O'Donnell confirmed that the tender for the design of the 105km motorway route has now formally gone to tender.
The €8m contract will see design engineers contracted to complete the route outline and bring the mammoth project to An Bord Pleanala.
At that point, contractors for the construction of the motorway will be appointed.
"This is a very good news story - the M20 is back on track," Sen O'Donnell said.
"This involves a formal tender process for €8m to design the motorway and take it as far as the An Bord Pleanala stage."
"The M20 is required for a number of reasons - there have been a number of accidents along the N20 so it is clearly needed from a safety point of view."
Sen O'Donnell said the M20 was also vital given efforts by Cork and Limerick to attract major international events such as the Ryder Cup bid by Adare Manor in Limerick.
Last year the Government were accused of treating Limerick and Cork residents like "fools" after allocating just €1m for the key motorway development - which equates to the construction cost of just 125 metres of the 105km route.
Cork and Limerick Co Councils had expressed concerns that, at the current
rate of project funding, the motorway linking the two cities may be stalled far beyond the 2023 target.
Councillors in both Cork and Limerick had reacted angrily to the continuing failure to provide major funding for the project - with Councillor Frank O'Flynn warning that delays could threaten the long-term economic development of Ireland's second and third cities.
"This is absolutely vital - how an earth can cities like Cork and Limerick act as a counterweight to Dublin if they aren't even properly connected by road," he said.
Ireland South MEP Sean Kelly also expressed frustration at what he said, up until now, was "a lack of urgency" over one of the most strategic motorway projects
now facing the State.
Cork and Limerick business interests had also expressed alarm at proposals to save €340m on the motorway by diverting it through Tipperary along part of the existing M8 Cork-Dublin motorway.
Mr Kelly said Ireland had to demonstrate its commitment to regional development.
"We were quite happy to use European funding to build motorways connecting Dublin with the cities of Ireland," he said.
"But there seems to be no urgency in connecting the cities with one another."
"You have the second biggest city in Ireland, Cork, not being connected by motorway with the second biggest city in Munster, Limerick."
"That is actually a no-brainer - it has to happen. The sooner it happens the better."
There were growing fears that construction work on the proposed €1bn M20 motorway from Cork through Mallow, Buttevant, Charleville, Croom and Raheen to Limerick may not begin for almost a decade.
Government planners had examined the Tipperary 'short cut' option on the basis that it would also offer the double advantage of creating a key segment of the M24/N24 Limerick-Tipperary-Rosslare motorway.
While no formal proposal has yet been made, it is understood Government planners are considering alternatives to the existing M20 route through Mallow, Charleville, Croom and Raheen because of its estimated €840m to €1 billion construction cost.
A Cork-Limerick route through Mallow, Charleville and Croom is 105km long.
However, a spur from Cahir in Tipperary, off the main M8 Dublin-Cork motorway, to Limerick is just 63km.
At an average motorway construction cost of €8m per km, according to Engineers Ireland figures, that would represent a cost saving of €340m for the Government.
However, whereas the direct Cork-Limerick route is 105km, any new diverted motorway via Cahir would involve a total distance between Ireland's second and third cities of 141km.
Cork and Limerick politicians and business associations have insisted that only a Cork-Mallow-Charleville-Croom-Limerick corridor for the M20 was workable.
The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) warned that a motorway linking Ireland’s
second and third cities was vital if regional urban centres were to act as a strategic counter-weight to Dublin.
Both cities have campaigned for the motorway for the past 25 years.
Sections of the existing N20 route between Cork and Limerick have been described as amongst the most accident-prone stretches of primary roadway in Ireland.
The section between Mallow and Charleville is believed to have the highest rate of fatal accidents of any route in Ireland.
Sections of the N20 around Blarney and Waterloo have also been the focus of multiple serious accidents the latest of which occurred on Monday when a US tourist was seriously injured at exactly the same spot where two US tourists were killed last September.
IBEC economist, Fergal O’Brien, warned last year it was particularly astonishing that Ireland wasn’t availing of historically low interest rates to tackle major capital projects that would have obvious long-term economic benefits.
“The M20 is a perfect candidate for a PPP approach,” he said.
The proposed motorway aims to slash 30 minutes from the commute time between Ireland’s second and third largest cities and remove some of the most dangerous stretches of single-carriageway primary road in the country.
It was hoped the motorway would also ease congestion with major bypasses of towns like Mallow, Buttevant, Charleville and enhance access to areas like Croom and Raheen.

April 17, 2018

Project Delays

Another year of delays along Highway 401 in SDG and Cornwall

By Marc Benoit, Special to the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder
<p>Projects in the works for 2018 along Highway 401 in Cornwall and SDG. Map produced by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.</p><p>
Handout/Cornwall Standard-Freeholder/Postmedia Network
Projects in the works for 2018 along Highway 401 in Cornwall and SDG. Map produced by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.
Handout/Cornwall Standard-Freeholder/Postmedia Network
Drivers can expect to spend a bit more time in traffic this summer as  they navigate Highway 401 through SDG.
SDG council heard from representatives from the Ministry of Transportation on Monday, as six major construction projects along the 401 corridor are planned for 2018, alongside 20 major projects provincewide. The projects are expected to create delays and frustrations for drivers, which the Ministry of Transportation is hoping to address.
Frank Pinder and Mike Delugt presented the MTO plan for southern Ontario highways, and answered questions and concerns from staff members and councillors in relation to the detours and delays planned for the summer.
Wales Road underpass and Avonmore Road underpass near Long Sault are slated for construction work, along with the Pitt Street overpass, the Bainsville Road underpass, the South Raisin River culvert, and paving along the stretch between Lancaster and Cornwall. Of these, the Avonmore Road work is a carryover from the 2017 season. It was initially supposed to be complete last year.
Each project will require a 12-hour closure in each direction, leading to an increased volume of traffic on local roads.
SDG staff members and councillors expressed concern over the impact the closures may have on the community. It will also be another summer — the third or fourth — that there is Highway 401 construction taking place within SDG and Cornwall.
Couns. Jim Bancroft and Tammy Hart pressed the delegation from the MTO about the Avonmore project, as it had been originally slated for completion last year. Due to issues with the tender, the project has carried over to the current season.
“Avonmore Road is still closed and that’s a big concern,” said Ben de Haan, director of planning for SDG. “That’s meant disruption for the residents. It impacts how we plow the roads, patrol, and maintain them. So there is quite a bit of impact, even if it’s a little each day.”
The company tasked with completion of the project, Cruickshank Construction, is the same company in charge of completing the Wales Road project. de Haan noted there is concern at the municipal level the company will not be able to complete the project on time, leading to a similar situation as Avonmore.
“We want assurances that the road will be open before winter,” said de Haan.
To better prepare motorists for the summer of detours and delays, the MTO is promoting its Twitter feed as a way to stay informed, along with the Ontario 511 website, alongside digital signage posted along the Highway 401.
“Drivers will have the information they need to plan ahead,” said Delugt.
As part of the Southern Highways Program rolled out by the provincial government, the MTO had to scale back the number of projects across the province for the current season.

April 2, 2018

Pan Borneo Highway- A Game Changer

Singapore Bitumen Supplier
BINTULU: After waiting for nearly five decades, the dream of the people of Sabah and Sarawak of having a modern highway cutting across two of Malaysia’s largest states is finally being realised, with the Pan-Borneo Highway expected to be completed within five years.

Spanning 1,089km from Telok Melano and Sematan to Lawas, the mega project was initiated by the Barisan Nasional government under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, with an allocation of RM14.2 billion for the Sarawak portion alone.

The first phase of the project — Pan-Borneo Highway Sarawak — was officially launched by the prime minister in Bintulu on March 31, 2015. Construction along a 43km-stretch from Nyabau to the Bakun junction began soon after.

The largest infrastructure development project in the state was announced by Najib as part of the ruling coalition’s manifesto in the 13th General Election (GE13).

It made history as the first highway project, with a four-lane dual carriageway of JKR R5 standard, to be built toll-free.

The highway is expected to spur local development and enhance the people’s socio-economic status, including through the creation of many new towns along the highways and boosting the tourism sector.

“It (highway) will bring a lot of changes to Sarawak, not just in the context of development, but also by boosting the socio-economic level of its people,” said Najib.

His confidence is based on the success of the North-South Expressway (PLUS) project, which had brought numerous developmental impacts from Johor all the way to Perlis.

Najib, who is also BN chairman, said the project was seen as an “agent of change” which would be capable of bringing changes to the development of the state, especially in the rural areas and contribute positively to the socio-economy of the people, such as creating jobs and business opportunities.

In terms of implementation, he said, it benefited the local contractors through the Project-Deliver Partnerships (PDP) method, in particular Sarawak’s Bumiputera companies.

The mega project is seen as part of efforts to bridge the development gap between the Peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak, and as such, is being closely monitored to ensure it will be completed on schedule to avoid the people in both states being left waiting.

A check by the New Straits Times Press (NSTP) showed that the construction work on the first phase, involving the Nyabau to Simpang junctions, was proceeding smoothly.

A resident, Kizie Matusup, 36, said the construction of the highway was a blessing as it would make it easier for people to travel from the north to the south of the state, which was currently a half day’s journey.

“We need about 12 to 13 hours to travel from Kuching to Miri. It takes us longer during peak seasons, which is exhausting.

“Sometimes, we need to make a stop overnight in Sibu before continuing our journey, which increases our travel expenses.

“Once the highway is completed, we expect the travel time to be reduced by at least half,” he said.

The construction of the highway, which began three years ago, has already started contributing to economic growth, particularly the local food and beverage business as well as shops selling daily necessities and other local products.

In Sarawak, the 11 work packages under the first phase of the highway are being implemented accordingly, with the majority involving the upgrading of the federal road from two to four lanes, except the Melano-Sematan route.

The 32.7km-long road was a new route constructed upon the request of the late chief minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem, consisting of bridges and other facilities such as rest and recreation stops.

As for Sabah, it involves 35 work packages worth RM12.8 billion, which begins from Sindumin, Sipitang to Tawau with seven packages implemented between April 2016 and December last year.

Borneo Highway PDP (BHP) Sdn Bhd managing director Shahelmey Yahya said the handover of the remaining project package to the contractor was expected to be completed by the end of June, with 10 of them on the west coast, while another 18 packages were in the central and east coast of Sabah.

“As of March, 10 new packages have been approved by the Finance Ministry.

“Four more packages are pending approval of allocation, while 14 packages are in the tender process and the preliminary engineering assessment phase,” he said.

The project also involves the construction of three new routes, namely, Putatan-Inanam known as Kota Kinabalu Outer Ring Road (KKOR), the Tuaran-Kudat Coastal Road and the Lahad Datu Bypass.

Shahelmey said based on current developments, the supply of construction materials was sufficient, thus, he was confident that the project could be completed on schedule.

He gave his assurance that the implementation of the project was proceeding smoothly after the tender process and the packages had been handed over to the appointed contractors.

“If there are any problems, it may have been due to weather conditions and land acquisition processes that delayed the work, but we have reminded all contractors to resolve the minor issues immediately to ensure that the project can be completed on schedule,” he said.

- NST

No Money No Honey - Road Projects

Contractors abandon Sh1.7bn road projects for non-payment



Construction of Outer Ring Road /MONICAH MWANGI
Construction of Outer Ring Road /MONICAH MWANGI
Road contractors have abandoned more than 60 projects since 2013 due to nonpayment by the county. The projects are worth Sh1.7 billion.
For years residents have been complaining about the high number of stalled projects and poor services by the county government.
The contractors who quit will lose out because the county will not pay them even for the little work they had done before they withdrew their services. City Hall has already re-advertised the projects.
Acting Transport chief officer Fredrick Karanja says many more infrastructure projects worth billions of shillings have stalled. But contractors have agreed to carry on with the work after the new administration committed to pay them.
“We have been engaging them and we will pay those who have agreed to come back. We have so far paid out Sh300 million,” Karanja said.
This comes as it emerged that at least four people are killed each day on the newly constructed Outer Ring Road in Eastlands.
Abandoned projects include John Osogo and Muigai Kenyatta roads in Dandora. The two, which lead to Dandora dumpsite, were allocated Sh210 million in the 2016-17 financial year. Others include Ole Sagane Road in Madaraka, which was being rehabilitated, construction of a non-motorised transport route in Kibera and rehabilitation of California Road in Eastleigh.
tenders paid
Transport executive Mohammed Dagane said non-payment of contractors is the sector’s main problem. In the current financial year, the executive said, Sh1.2 billion of Sh4.9 billion tenders awarded have been paid.
The two spoke during a breakfast meeting with journalists at the Sarova Stanley Hotel. All the CECs attended the forum.
Dagane also blamed the poor state of roads in the county on inadequate technical personnel, lack of county-owned basic construction equipment, under-investment in public transport and massive encroachment on road reserves.
Meanwhile, the county government has written to the Kenya Urban Roads Authority to construct footbridges and other safety structures to reduce the numbers accidents on the road.
“We have asked them to introduce safe crossing ways like tunnels and underpasses. But another problem is the habit of Kenyan drivers who always want to test their vehicles whenever a new road is built,” Karanja said.

March 28, 2018

Contractor's Bankruptcy Stalls Projects

The Guwahati Jal Board, which is looking after the ongoing water projects in the city, has asked Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority to float new tenders for the pipeline works after the Hyderabad-based contractor, IVRCL Pvt Ltd, went bankrupt.
This has further pushed the completion date for the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) assisted South Central Guwahati Water Supply Project in which IVRCL was conducting the pipe laying works by at least one year.
“The entire process of floating the tender again and then waiting for new parties to apply for the tender, conducting the scrutiny of the prospective contractors and then making a selection will take at least a year’s time. It might take more too,” an official of GMDA told G Plus.
The project was commissioned in 2012 and was supposed to be completed in 28 months, but had been missing deadlines ever since - in 2015 and then, December 2017. The current commissioning date was slated for October 2019.
IVRCL had completed about 67% of the pipe laying works so far with 800 kms out of a total of 1,200 kms already laid. The total area of pipeline network is 775 square kms.

The project that had a total budget of Rs 1,636.28 crores – Rs 1,363.28 crore loan from JICA and the rest Rs 273 crores from the state government – when completed will provide 191 million litres of potable water daily in south central Guwahati.
The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Hyderabad had ordered the commencement of a corporate insolvency resolution process against IVRCL on February 23 vide an order – C P (IB) No 294/7/HDB/2017. The tribunal made the copy of the order ready for communication on March 3, 2018.
On March 3, all the assets of the company was handed over to the Interim Resolution Professionals (IRP) vide Section 18 (1) of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 to look into speedy and proper repayment to the company’s corporate debtors.
The IVRCL was rendered bankrupt due to its inability to repay a loan amount of around Rs 600 crores to a public sector bank.
“This was an unexpected development. When this company was awarded the contract, it was one of the best when it came to water supply projects. It was working on several other ongoing projects at that time. Not only will this project get affected, several other projects going on in different parts of the country will also be affected,” S Venkatesan, managing director of Guwahati Metropolitan Water & Sewage Board under the Guwahati Jal Board that is looking over the completion of the project, said.

“We can however contain the damage to a certain extent if we can properly utilise our other contractors and speed up other works. The works for water intake point and construction of reservoir need to be done on war footing and be completed by this monsoon,” Venkatesan added.
Besides IVRCL, other private and government construction agencies such as Gamon India Ltd, M/S IVRCL Infrastructure and Project Ltd, Viswa BRCCPL (Jevi), JWIL Renhill (Jevi), Zindal Show Ltd, Electro Steel Casting Ltd, APDCL and NJS Consultant Company Ltd were also involved in the South Central Guwahati Water Supply Project.
According to the website of the company, IVRCL has completed at least 18 water supply projects in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Kerala, Maharashtra, Telangana, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.
IVRCL was also working on the Trans Arunachal Highway project – the project for development of roads and highways of Arunachal Pradesh - in which it was widening the existing 2-lane national highway standard roads along with improvement and re-alignment works from Nechipu to Hoj, via Seppa, Khodaso and Saggalee of Arunachal Pradesh.

Besides South Central Guwahati, the JICA is also assisting on the North Guwahati water supply project that will provide 38 million litres daily (MLD) at North Guwahati while the Asian Development Bank is funding South Eastern water supply project that will supply 98 MLD water and the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission is funding another West Guwahati water project that will supply 107 MLD water. All the projects are awaiting completion.

By -AVISHEK SENGUPTA 

March 21, 2018

Fixing the Road ( Tenders)

A local company was allowed to fix tender prices for the road connecting Mombasa to Miritini, exposing taxpayers to an extra cost of Sh200 million, it has emerged. According to the National Assembly Public Investment Committee (PIC), SS Mehta was given a blank bill of quantities to fill in the price upon which the tender was priced. 

Narok- Mai Mahiu road cut off again This saw the cost of building the road that was initially to cost taxpayers Sh300 million go up to Sh500 million. “A representative of the company met Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) officials at the third-floor boardroom on June 26, 2013, where he had been given the bill of quantities prior to the meeting,” said PIC Chairman Abdul Swamad Nassir (Mvita). 

Repackaged bid He said KeNHA’s decision to award the tender was mired by irregularities after it opted to directly procure the services of Mehta on the pretext of following a presidential directive. Avoid fake news! Subscribe to the Standard SMS service and receive factual, verified breaking news as it happens. Text the word 'NEWS' to 22840 Talewa Road Contractors had been awarded the tender for the road on the stretch where the Standard Gauge Railway terminates, but only managed to complete just over 40 per cent of the works. KeNHA then cancelled the tender and repackaged the bid documents to include Bomu Hospital Road and Changamwe Refinery road to divert traffic and cut congestion.

 The agency boss Peter Mundinia told the committee the authority took the decision as it was hard-pressed to comply with the 100 days rapid result initiative meant to cut the time taken to move cargo from the Mombasa port from 15 days to four days.

By Otiato Guguyu 

Read more at: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/business/article/2001273908/agency-on-the-spot-for-inflated-road-tender-award-to-firm


March 13, 2018

Saudi Rail Event

Add caption
 Speaking at the 12th edition of the Middle East Rail 2018, Khalid Al Sultan, vice president - infrastructure, Saudi Railway Company (SAR), covered the company’s railway development plans in context of the country’s Vision 2030. He explained that railway will play a major role in three aspects of development: a cost efficient means of moving goods & freight, a means of moving people as well as aligning with major ports and entry points to ensure seamless infrastructural connectivity.

He also explained in great detail the length and depth of coverage of the country’s three major railway lines including the Riyadh Dammam Line, North-South Project (connecting major heavy industry hubs for freight projects) and the 453-km long Haramain High Speed Railway (HHR) project linking the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.

Al Sultan also expressed SAR’s keen interest in working with the private sector to collaborate and partner in achieving success in multiple new projects. Of note were Public-Private Partnership (PPP) opportunities for the 340-kilometer dDouble-track Yanbu to Jeddah connection (via King Abdullah Port) and the 40-kilometer double-track Riyadh to Riyadh connection and new Dry-Port (connecting SAR and SRO networks in Riyadh and New Dry Port to be situated outside of Riyadh).

He also mentioned that SAR will soon be floating tenders for the Riyadh-Dammam and the Land Bridge Project. The project consists of a 449-kilometer passenger Line connecting Dammam and Riyadh passing through Al Ahsa and Abqaiq, a 546-kilometer Freight Line connecting King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam with Riyadh passing through Al Ahsa, Abqaiq, Al Kharj, Haradh and Al Tawdhiyah and a 400-kilometer Sub Line connecting industrial, agricultural and military sites with export ports and residential areas.

The Land Bridge extends from Jeddah to Riyadh with a total length of approximately 1000 km of double-track. It also connects with the GCC Railway Network.

Alstom showcases its complete mobility solutions

Alstom is showcasing its complete mobility solutions for urban signaling and services. 

“Alstom has been a reliable partner for the Middle East region since decades,” said Mrs. Thi Mai Tran, managing director of Alstom Gulf. “Alstom’s dedication to the UAE and the Middle East market and to the development of its transport & mobility network which includes Tramways, metro, high speed as well as signaling is confirmed by the number of projects currently in the region. Alstom is looking forward to further re-enforce its commitment to the development of the Middle East mobility sector and economy through participation in the upcoming railway & mobility projects,” added Tran.



The provider of the Dubai Tram and the leader of the ExpoLink consortium for Route 2020 project of the Red Line extension of Dubai Metro have highlighted eight new technologies with the power to transform mobility in the Middle East now – or in the very near future.

Ranging from connected tech to help passengers plan easier, more comfortable journeys, to autonomous last-mile shuttles, next-generation electric buses, and behind-the-scenes management systems to keep the whole transport system running smoothly, each of the innovations is available now to be deployed. When put together, they offer a revolution in smarter, more sustainable mobility for both passengers and operators, and will help rapidly growing cities move and breathe more easily for a better tomorrow.

Among the solutions Alstom will present on its booth, are Alstom’s Urban Integrated solutions; Citadis Range: More than 2,500 Citadis tramway sold in 53 cities; Mastria, the orchestration of all public transport modes from rail to road; Ecodesign: Sustainability in mobility from manufacturing to recycling; Aptis: the premium passenger experience inspired from the tram.


Indian Railways to talk about expansion

Indian Railways, India's national railway system operated by the Ministry of Railways, will talk about $140 billion worth of current and future rail projects that the government is building to upgrade country’s urban transportation network.

Mahesh Kumar Gupta, member engineering - Indian Railway Board, will lead a high-profile delegation of railway officials and experts to share more details about the region’s largest railway network’s expansion plans and future growth prospects, besides outlining a buddle of opportunities that the industry offers in the segments of metro, tram, monorail, long-distance freight and passenger train, and high speed rail.

Gupta, said: “We will highlight some of our achievements, growth prospects and future projections during this two-day event. This kind of events helps in creating awareness about gigantic organizations like Indian Railways, which deals in mega projects such as high speed trains, dedicated freight corridors, electrification, capacity expansion and tech development.”

Indian Railways will also be represented by two of its overseas arms – RITES and IRCON International Limited. While RITES deals in consultancy of transport and infrastructure and export packages of rolling stock, the IRCON is mainly into construction of railway projects.

“These are exciting times for railway industry. There are serious challenges in the road and air transportation sector, hence, the upgradation of the railway infrastructure is the need of the hour. Indian Railways has realized that accumulated backlog investment is the root cause of its inability to improve the market share or quality of services,” said Gupta.

Indian railways aims to concentrate on major investment projects in the areas of dedicated freight corridor, high speed rail, modernization of signaling system, track and rolling stock maintenance with major emphasis on safety. “Our future plan is to focus on electrification, 100% use of LED lights, ETCS level II of signaling and high speed technologies.”

Source- Saudi Gazzette

February 21, 2018

Security Clearance Sought for Road Project

Coastal road project...




With five international consortia among the 17 bidders, which qualified for the 29.2km coastal road project in the city, including China and Italy, the Brihanmumbai Mumbai Corporation (BMC) has written to the Centre for security clearance.

The proposals of 17 bidders will be analysed by a consultant appointed by the civic body.

After the analysis, the financial bids will be opened and the contract will be given to the lowest bidder.

However, if the Union Home Ministry disqualifies any firm, their financial bids will not be opened and will be automatically rejected.

“We have written to the Centre informing about the international firms’ participation and their security clearances,” said Sanjay Mukherjee, additional municipal commissioner, projects.

Talking about the commencement of work, BMC chief Ajoy Mehta said, “The actual construction of the Coastal Road between Marine Drive to Kandivli will begin in May this year, once the tendering process is completed in the next two months.”

The Hajo Ali section of the road. (HT Photo)

“The first phase of Marine Drive to Bandra Worli Sea Link has to be constructed by the BMC, while the construction of the remaining part will be taken care of by MSRDC,” he added.

Meanwhile, the international firms participating in the bid are from China, Italy, Korea, Dutch and Gulf countries.

Amid Sikkim stand off last year, Union Home Ministry had denied security clearance to Chinese consortium China Railway Major Bridge Engineering Group Limited in joint venture (JV) with Gayatri Projects Limited for the construction of Mumbai Trans Harbour Link.

The BMC is currently awaiting reply from the home ministry for its coastal road project.

In the past, Chinese companies have been disqualified by the Union Cabinet Committee on security grounds because of the growing cross border tensions between the two countries.

Chinese companies were also denied security clearance for the construction of Bandra-Worli Sea Link (BWSL).

Ajoy Mehta had ordered the civic officials to finalise the request for proposal (RFP) tender by March 15, 2018.

The coastal road aims to provide connectivity between western suburb and the island city.

The civic body proposed that the work be divided into two parts.

The south phase of the bridge will run from Princess Street flyover till the south end of the Bandra-Worli sea link and the north phase will cover the stretch from the north-end of the sea link to Kandivli.

The coastal road will have eight lanes with two dedicated bus lanes.

The project will require 186 hectares of land to be reclaimed, of which 91 hectares will be developed as green spaces. Stay updated with all the Mumbai Latest News headlines here. For more exclusive & live news updates from all around India, stay connected with NYOOOZ.

September 27, 2017

Mombasa to Nairobi- The Political Road

In another three years, a Kenyan travelling from Mombasa to Nairobi will have at least four major options Kenya has chosen to build a brand new road between Mombasa and Nairobi instead of expanding the existing highway in what will leave consumers spoilt for choice Transport CS James Macharia said the deal had not been signed and that several other companies could be allowed to bid Kenya has chosen to build a brand new road between Mombasa and Nairobi instead of expanding the existing highway in what will leave consumers spoilt for choice.

The Sunday Standard has established that instead of turning the current road into an expressway, the government decided to construct a completely new road to run side by side with the existing one. ALSO READ: Kenya Railways threatens top managers of RVR This means that in another three years, a Kenyan travelling from Mombasa to Nairobi will have at least four major options. One may choose the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) passenger train that takes about five hours or take a flight and land in the coastal town in an hour. If he wants to travel by road, he will have two roads to pick from. If in a hurry, and would like to drive at speeds of 120 kilometers per hour, he will take the expressway whose contract was handed to an American firm, Bechtel, three days to the General Election in a deal described as a ‘thank you gift’ to the Americans.

This will not just be the most comfortable drive given how smooth the road would be, it will just take him three and-a-half hours. But this will not be without a cost. He will have to part with some unspecified amount of money in toll fees to enjoy the road. If he does not want to pay or is not in a hurry, he will still have the current road at his disposal, which will be available but only for smaller vehicles. The current road will also have been downgraded to stop trucks and big buses from using it. Shelved proposal It will also mean that the government will buy land afresh, in a similar fashion as it did before it build the SGR, in what could provide land cartels with another round of minting millions from government projects. The initial proposal, which was shelved in favour of the current deal, involved expansion of the existing highway to four lanes between the Machakos Turnoff to Mariakani.  ALSO READ: Kenya Railways threatens top managers of RVR It has also emerged that the contractor building the controversial expressway will be allowed to ‘sell’ it to another private contractor, who will charge users toll fees to recoup the billions sunk in the project.

“Under the Exim Bank financing model, the government has the opportunity to privatise or securitise the individual sections of the expressway that could reduce the total borrowing requirements,” Engineer Peter Mundinia, the director general of the Kenya National Highways Authority (Kenha) said in a statement. The authority, however, refused to comment on the cost of the project. A source familiar with the project says the government will pass the road to private investors, who have the experience to monetise the road. “Private investors will buy the road and charge toll fees in line with the initial Public Private Partnership (PPP) model after it is constructed.

This must not wait until it is fully built but it can start with the sections as they get completed,” a source said in an interview. This will make the multi-billion road the first ‘private road’ in the region. Kenha has contradicted the Ministry of Transport which had denied claims that the contract had been signed. In a press release this week, Kenha said the commercial contract for the project was signed on August 5. Reacting to an earlier story by the Standard, Transport CS James Macharia said the deal had not been signed and that several other companies could be allowed to bid. ALSO READ: Kenya’s Sh300b ‘thank you gift’ road project to US sparks tender wars But Kenha, which handed the project to the American firm without a competitive process, says the development is under its mandate. Available estimates show that the project will cost about Sh300 billion, before the cost of buying the land is factored in.

Kenha says its economic projections show that there is an infrastructural symbiotic relationship between the SGR and the new road as it offers connectivity for people, business and communities along the road. “Once completed, the expressway will play a critical role in improving Kenya’s transportation logistics and trade competitiveness while supporting the spatial and industrial development along the corridor,” Mundinia said. Kenha has defended the decision to opt for the construction of a new road on grounds that it is distinct from the PPP alternative given that it offers a new alignment designed as a high speed six-lane expressway of higher capacity and safety standards.

“The expressway project will include highway capacity through construction of the greater Nairobi-Southern Bypass which has been planned for several years, thereby contributing to decongestion of the fast-growing Nairobi Metropolitan Area,” Mundinia said. But as details of the deal become available, it is emerging that the mega project has stark similarities to the SGR contract handed to a Chinese company in the run-up to the 2013 General Election. Both the contracts of the SGR and the expressway project were signed shortly before the elections. The firms constructing them are the ones tasked with determining the costs of the projects. Worse, both have been single-sourced and were entered in the cover of government-to-government contracts, in deals that reduce the level of public disclosure and scrutiny that open tenders go through. The biggest concern for sources familiar with government financing is that both of these projects are now going to be financed largely from borrowing at a time when the government is exhausting its headroom to stock up any additional debt.

Kenya Railways set to operate old line It has emerged that top officials of the PPP directorate were caught unawares after the government made an about turn on the project and decided to build a new road instead. A working paper from insiders at the Treasury and the Ministry of Transport seen by this paper raised sharp questions on why the project had to be announced in a rush, three days before the elections, and why it was not competitively done. The deal has also brought back the American government on the front row seat of firms that have bagged big infrastructure projects after being elbowed out by Chinese companies.

A brief by the State Department of Infrastructure as it sought concurrence to proceed with the project says Kenya will borrow funds from American lenders (US Exim Bank and OPIC) and then sign an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract to build the road on a single source basis. The brief queries why a previous model financed by the World Bank was abandoned and how it was determined that the single sourcing approach would offer taxpayers better value for money and would be faster than a PPP.  “Although the proposal is being referred to as ‘alternative project concept’ or ‘highway development concept,’ it is simply a non-competitive, single source procurement of an EPC contractor who is able to bring financing with it,” the brief notes. Engineer George Kiiru, the head of PPP at Kenha, told the Sunday Standard that the government changed its focus from a PPP to EPC because it will be delivered faster as compared to PPP. Shorter period


 “Achieving commercial and financial close for PPP contracts can take two to three years thereby delaying the start of construction and completion of the project,” Kiiru said. “A comparative analysis between a PPP model for a 20-30 year concession shows cumulative repayments under the PPP approach would be higher compared to the alternative approach with ECA (US Exim/OPIC) support,” Kiiru said. The brief from the State Department of Infrastructure, however, intimates that there is no reason to suggest that the construction will take longer under the PPP arrangement. “Indeed, there are strong arguments that overall construction period may be shorter under the PPP project as it splits construction between three different EPC contractors. In any event, the constraining factor is always likely to be land acquisition, so it would be a mistake to assume that the Betchel proposal can deliver construction completion more quickly,” the brief notes.   Kenha says the government is yet to determine the exact cost of the project and is waiting for a complete detailed design, which is yet to be undertaken, before it can determine the actual cost. Kenha also refused to give a cost range that the project is expected to fall in on grounds that it did not want to speculate despite the fact that costs are the first considerations in deciding if a project is viable or not. Costs per kilometre “This project is a government to government initiative. The US Government nominated Betchel International to work with the implementing Agencies in Kenya to develop the project,” Kiiru said. In 2015, Kenha says, the governments of Kenya and the US signed a memorandum of understanding for development of priority infrastructure projects supporting Kenya’s Vision 2030. Kenya later held discussions with the US government for development of the highway. The US, through the US Exim Bank, has provided a letter of support to Betchel for the Nairobi–Mombasa Expressway under a proposed government to government agreement.

“The US Exim Bank has shown interest to finance the project together with other US Export Credit Agencies such as the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC),” Kenha said in its response. The brief says Betchel’s construction costs per kilometer are higher than estimates presented to the ministry by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on construction costs for the PPP approach of Sh600 million per kilometre versus Sh500 million per kilometre ($6 million Vs $5 million). “The per kilometre costs under the PPP proposal includes all taxes and duties while Betchel’s proposal assumes complete tax exemption for the project (corporate tax, income tax and import duties) which could reasonably be assumed to cost the government an additional Sh100 million per kilometre,” the brief notes. It goes on to argue that as part of the American firm’s proposal, an advance payment of Sh30 billion and also a payment of Sh10 billion as ‘establishment fee’ will be required. “So Betchel will be Sh40 billion in funds and highly cash positive before the start of the project whereby the government will be paying interest on this sum from day one as this will be drawn immediately by Betchel at contract signing,” the brief notes. There is also a further Sh6 billion of design management fees. The proposal from the American firm excluded all relevant taxes.

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