October 30, 2018

Samao Bulding Bridge


Work on $7.5 million bridge begins

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu , 
1112 Hits


Construction work on the $7.5 million Mali’oli’o Bridge and new access road at Samalaeulu has begun. 
In September, the Tenders Board awarded the contract for Mali’oli’o River to Ah Liki Construction.
The work is funded by the World Bank, who approved grant of $95.09 m to improve Samoa’s road network.
This was confirmed by the L.T.A. Chief Executive Officer., Galumalemana Ta’atialeoitiiti Tutuvanu-Schwalger in response to questions from the Samoa Observer. 
Cyclone Evan that struck in December 2012 caused significant damage to the bridge in question. 
Last month, the L.T.A. issued a statement the evaluation resulted in the panel’s recommendation to award the contract to Ah Liki Construction; this recommendation has been approved by the Tenders Board and the Cabinet.
The current Ford crossing at Samalaeulu prohibits crossing of vehicles during flash flood thus the construction of the bridge is vital to maintain connectivity even during severe bad weather and natural disasters. 

October 17, 2018

SANRAL Riding the Construction Boom


The South African National Roads Agency (Sanral), which has issued almost no new tenders this year, was hoping to issue several new major multibillion-rand tenders soon.

However, Sanral chief executive Skhumbuzo Macozoma, said yesterday that “the unfortunate impasse” with the National Treasury last year would affect the construction sector through an 18-month lag in construction projects.

Despite this impasse, Macozoma told the annual conference of the SA Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors (Safcec) that Sanral had awarded the two mega bridge projects on the N2 Wild Coast at a cost of more than R3 billion, while the seven packages of new road construction currently under design would soon be tendered and involved a projected further budget of about R6bn.

Macozoma said Sanral was also pushing “very hard” to secure funding for the development of the N3 section from Maritzburg to Durban at an estimated cost of about R20bn.

“It is our hope that with the help of government and industry players, we can unlock the rest of the R128bn worth of national roads projects that were earmarked for roll-out through private finance, which currently cannot move due to the anti-toll sentiment in the country,” he said.

Macozoma added the current Sanral 2018/19 medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) non-toll budget allocation amounted to about R54bn, plus another about R15bn for the toll portfolio.

“This will go to the traditional maintenance and capital works that have been prioritised in this cycle under very difficult budget conditions.

“With such budget commitments to projects over the MTEF, we are the stimulus before the stimulus package,” he said.

Macozoma said the construction industry, while being at its lowest levels currently, was poised to pick up and restore its market status owing to projected growth of the residential, energy, transport and logistics businesses.

Construction boom

But Macozoma said that if the history of road funding was anything to go by, South Africa needed to return not to the 2010 construction boom but to the investment period of the mid-1970s to 1990s.

Macozoma attributed the impasse at National Treasury to supply chain reforms in government that sought to strengthen good governance in the procurement of infrastructure projects.

However, he said there were “serious unintended consequences” that must be addressed with the National Treasury, including project delays and cancellations, and conflict with construction general conditions of contract.

Webster Mfebe, the chief executive of Safcec, said the stimulus and recovery package recently announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa that prioritised infrastructure spending as a key driver of economic activity required a construction industry body that was ready to deliver.

But Mfebe said the lack of work was beginning to deplete the construction industry's capacity.

“If not attended to expeditiously, it will render the local industry hopeless, thereby allowing foreign contractors to dominate the construction sector.

“The rest of Africa is currently experiencing the consequences of the demise of their construction industry. This, among other things, opens a door for the economic colonisation of Africa – the new threat being the 'Chinalisation' of Africa, where government to government investments are prioritised over business to business investments. This scenario can only make foreign companies ready to deliver while the local industry will be completely decimated,” he said.

Isabella Makuta, the president of Safcec, said construction industry trading conditions had become more than dire, with the industry confronted by a litany of challenges and witnessing company closures and downsizing, including job losses at unprecedented levels.

Makutu said the likely delay in the implementation of the envisaged R400bn infrastructure programme might spell the demise of many key players in the industry.

“A jobs bloodbath will be a natural outcome of such unfortunate circumstances. This can and must be avoided,” she said.

African News Agency (ANA)

September 28, 2018

Liverpool Road Tender

Liverpool City Council is looking for contractors to work on a four-year highways framework worth up to £280m.
The framework, one of four platforms the council is creating to invest in roads and new housing, is divided into three lots with projects ranging from £250,000 to £12m for planned highways works including patching and potholes, ground investigation, piling, remedial works, trail pits, bridges and tunnels.
There will be 12 places in total on the framework, across the three lots, with up to 24 suppliers invited to tender.
Interested parties must complete the selection questionnaire by Wednesday 17 October at the Pro Contract website.
The highways frameworks have been set up to enable the delivery of the Better Roads programme, which was launched in 2014, the council said. It added that to date, more than 100 oads have benefitted, including a £1.6m upgrade to Park Lane and the current works dualling the northern gateway to the city centre.
Further procurement frameworks are also being designed to assist the Foundations housing company, which is to be given “stiff targets” to bolster apprenticeships in the region’s construction sector. The frameworks can also can be utilised by other local bodies to contract works.
Mayor Joe Anderson said: Liverpool’s roads are in need of a dramatic overhaul.
“The funding for the roads is in place and Foundations has now been established so the time has now come to fine tune the plans and start delivering.
“To do this, and to make it easier for Liverpool companies to navigate our tendering process, the council’s procurement team has created our first bespoke frameworks.
“This is a watershed moment for the council and symbolises the effort and commitment the entire organisation is undertaking to change the way we operate to be more business friendly so together the public and private sector can make a real difference to the future of the city.”
Source - Placenorhtwest

August 15, 2018

Road Tender Bribes

Israeli tycoon quizzed over Kenya roads tender bribes
A SECTION OF THE MAU-SUMMIT-KERICHO-NYAMASARIA ROAD UNDER CONSTRUCTION WHICH WAS UNDERTAKEN BY AN ISRAEL COMPANY WHOSE OFFICIALS ARE THE SUBJECT OF BRIBERY INQUIRY CLAIMS
A SECTION OF THE MAU-SUMMIT-KERICHO-NYAMASARIA ROAD UNDER CONSTRUCTION WHICH WAS UNDERTAKEN BY AN ISRAEL COMPANY WHOSE OFFICIALS ARE THE SUBJECT OF BRIBERY INQUIRY CLAIMS. FILE PHOTO | NMG  
Israeli police on Sunday questioned Israeli-American billionaire Shari Arison in connection with an ongoing bribery investigation into the country’s largest construction firm, Shikun & Binui, which is alleged to have bribed Kenyan officials to win lucrative road tenders.
In a joint statement on Sunday, the Israeli police and the Israel Securities Authority said their investigation was focusing on suspicions that the company bribed foreign government officials to advance projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars in Kenya and other countries.
Ms Arison was summoned on Sunday along with another executive of Arison Group, Efrat Peled, by the Israeli police’s anti-corruption unit, Arison Group said in a statement.
“They cooperated fully and are certain there was no flaw in their conduct, and that this will also be the conclusion of the enforcement agencies,” the firm was quoted saying by Reuters.
Investigation into the Tel Aviv-based construction group is expected to also place a section of current and former Kenyan Transport ministry officials on the spot over their involvement in suspected corruption.
Israel police on February 20, opened investigations into the activities of Shikun & Binui’s former senior managers suspected of involvement in the bribery in Kenya.
The firm works in Kenya through its subsidiary Solel Boneh International Holdings (SBI Holdings).
SBI Holdings is the company that Nairobi picked to build the World Bank-funded Mau Summit-Kericho-Kisumu Highway at a cost of Sh14 billion in 2010.
Shikun & Binui said in February that four current and former employees of a foreign subsidiary had been detained for questioning by Israeli police on suspicion of bribery in Kenya and other African nations.
SBI, which is one of the largest contraction firms in Israel, has been bidding for other lucrative construction projects in Kenya.
The probe has turned the heat on those who served at the helm of the Transport and Infrastructure ministry at the time the suspect contracts were awarded.

August 2, 2018

Infrastructure Spending - More the Delay more the Money

Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK
The South African National Roads Agency (Sanral), which has starved the construction sector of work for nearly a year, is finally waking up from its slumber — although analysts say it will have little room to manoeuvre for the foreseeable future.
Sanral’s rollout of contracts stalled in 2017 because of disagreements with the Treasury over processes to award consulting service tenders. That led to a major backlog of road projects and has taken its toll on the ailing construction industry.
Basil Read, which has a roads division, is one of several contractors to have succumbed to the generally anaemic state of the industry. The 66-year-old firm was forced into business rescue in June.
Sanral spokesman Vusi Mona told Business Day the roads agency "is contracting again after resolving the issue of design contracts with Treasury".
"We have now resumed the awarding of both design contracts and construction work," Mona said.
AECI CEO Mark Dytor, whose company recently bought materials supplier Much Asphalt, told Business Day last week that Sanral and other roads agencies had started appointing engineers to oversee tender evaluations.
Dytor agreed the Treasury had become more prudent in its cash disbursements and the new government was "clamping down on where the money’s going at the moment".
"But what we are seeing from the likes of Sanral is that contracts are starting to be let out, and I think that bodes well for the last quarter of the year and next year," he said.
"If the country is to grow we have to spend on infrastructure," Dytor said, adding that he expected President Cyril Ramaphosa to prioritise roads and other similar projects.
However, analysts say that while starved construction firms would pounce at tenders, they doubt whether Sanral can afford new roads.
Ample capacity
FNB senior economic analyst Jason Muscat said there was ample capacity in the industry for road projects, since large contractors, including Raubex, were largely weathering the storm.
"But government finances are really not in a position for new builds — at the moment it’s really about keeping everything bandaged up sufficiently to keep going. So I would imagine the bulk of Sanral’s spend is going to go towards maintenance rather than new infrastructure."
Muscat said the state was having to cut back on infrastructure to fund items such as free tertiary education and to provide guarantees for state-owned enterprises.
And if calls within the ANC to scrap e-tolls were taken seriously, Sanral’s woes in the debt capital markets would be compounded.
Muscat said the construction industry as a whole was in a desperate state.
The civil confidence index, which FNB compiles along with the Bureau of Economic Research, fell to 15 points in the second quarter — the fourth-lowest number in the index’s 21-year history.
The average reading over the two decades is 45 points.
The second-quarter reading shows that 85% of respondents did not have confidence in the civil construction sector, partly because competition for the few tenders in the market was becoming even fiercer, and margins were now ultra-thin at best. As many as 90% of respondents said that there was insufficient work, primarily due to the lack of state projects.
Aveng’s share price was closing in on R70 prior to the 2010 Fifa World Cup, but has plummeted to just 8c on Wednesday. Over the same period, Group Five has fallen from close to R60 to 85c and Esor from about R6 to 10c.
Those with bigger international footprints, such as WBHO, have held up better.
Muscat expects more failures in the industry, or at least some consolidation.
He cited German firm Aton’s hostile bid for Murray & Roberts, which in turn has been trying to buy out Aveng.
He said FNB was concerned that following SA’s weak growth in the first quarter and negative high-frequency data in the second quarter, the bank may have to revise its 2018 growth forecasts for the country downwards, from 1.6%.
"We’re concerned that downgrades are soon going to be in the spotlight again, and obviously that’s going to hit Sanral and Eskom bonds … and it’s going to make the cost of financing that debt almost unmanageable, so we’re really up against it at the moment."
Industry Insight economist David Metelerkamp said the release of Sanral projects would be a "good boost" for the construction industry, since road projects account for the bulk of civil construction work — as much as 55% in 2017.
"So this would be a big reprieve for some contractors — in the short run — that are absolutely dying for work."
Most contractors were operating at between 51% and 75% capacity, which meant they had "plenty of resources lying idle waiting for the next job".
However, Metelerkamp said that the country still had too many construction companies compared with other markets, so failures in the current environment were inevitable.
"And even if Sanral are to release a flurry of projects, it still won’t be a big enough reprieve for the overall sector," Metelerkamp said.

July 20, 2018

Over Priced Road Contracts


THE transport ministry rejected a plan by the Roads Authority to extend three road contracts valued at N$1,6 billion to three companies without publicly advertising the tenders.
Currently, there are three highways under construction – the Swakopmund to Walvis Bay, the Windhoek to Hosea Kutako and the Windhoek to Okahandja.

The Swakopmund to Walvis Bay highway is being constructed by Chinese-owned company Unik Construction Engineering Namibia and its Namibian partner, Thohi Construction for N$958 million.

The N$1 billion contract for the contruction of a section of the Windhoek to Okahandja highway was awarded to the Italian construction company CMC and their Namibian partner Otesa Civil Engineering, while another N$1 billion contract for the Windhoek to Hosea Kutako highway went to the China Railway Seventh Group and Onamagongwa Trading Enterprise.

Two of the highways – Windhoek to Hosea Kutako and Windhoek to Okahandja – are supposed to be completed by January 2019, while the Swakopmund to Walvis Bay highway should be done by June next year.

Works and Transport permanent secretary Willem Goeiemann asked the RA last year to present a strategy on how the parastatal plans to implement the three projects to meet deadlines.

RA chief executive Conrad Lutombi wrote to Goeie­mann on 2 February 2018, recommending that the three companies which are currently constructing the highways should be given extensions to work on the next kilometres, which would rule out advertising the tenders.

According to the Roads Authority (RA), the Windhoek to Hosea Kutako International Airport road would be extended by three kilometres at a cost of N$150 million, while the Swakopmund to Walvis Bay road will increase by eight kilometres for N$435 million. The Windhoek to Okahandja road would be extended by 21 kilometres for a whopping N$1 billion.

The RA stated that the three road extensions would cost a combined N$1,6 billion, and that allowing continuity would save the government N$147 million.

The savings, according to the parastatal, include the fact that the companies would not need to set up a new construction camp. The camp consists of workers' accommodation.

THE LOW ROAD

Works deputy minister Sankwasa James Sankwasa, however, rejected this proposal to extend the roads, and blasted the RA for accepting inflated tenders.

Sankwasa rejected the proposal in two letters he wrote to works minister John Mutorwa and Goeiemann on 27 February and 2 May 2018.

“I am not in a position to agree with the recommendations to award the extensions of construction work to the existing tenderers,” he said, suggesting that the RA should instead go for a public tender, supervised by the ministry of works.

“Should any tenderer not quote within the confines or rates of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, the government should reject such tender,” he emphasised.

According to him, Namibian road projects, compared to other southern African countries, are expensive.

The deputy minister said he researched Namibian road construction costs compared to other countries, mainly Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

“I discovered that nearly all SADC countries construct roads of bitumen (tar) standards at approximately N$5 million to N$8 million per kilometre, depending on the topography of the area where the road is being constructed,” he said.

The deputy minister further said that about 10 years ago, Namibia was constructing roads at an average cost below N$5 million per kilometre.

“This seems to have changed overnight, to where Namibia is constructing at the cost of N$12 to N$15 million per kilometre,” he added.

The three roads are priority projects under the Harambee Prosperity Plan, President Hage Geingob's signature development plan, which has promised better roads up to 2020.

“Does government have to undertake overpriced projects because they are Harambee projects?” the deputy minister asked.

“The sudden escalation in the costs of road construction and all other construction works in Namibia requires an urgent investigation, and the halting of such overpricing practices”, he stressed.

For instance, Sankwasa said the Swakopmund to Walvis Bay road was overpriced by around N$60 million, compared to the initial cost government budgeted for.

The deputy minister said he objected to the awarding of the Swakopmund to Walvis Bay road tender in April 2016 when he indeed recommended its cancellation and re-advertisement.

“I clearly stated that this tender was riddled with corruption, and should be cancelled and be re-advertised. But such recommendation was brushed aside, and the tender was eventually awarded to the third most expensive tenderer, Unik, instead of the cheapest and the best tenderer, as evaluated by the consulting engineer,” he added.

Sankwasa told The Namibian this week that he planned to intervene in the current tenders as they were overpriced, and he wanted the permanent secretary to correct the matter.

“As permanent secretary, I expect him [Goeiemann] to act in the public interest of the country and a duty to protect state resources,” he reiterated.

Sankwasa suggested that if the material is too expensive, then why not get material from another source that's cheaper.

“It just boils down to corruption,” he charged.

NOTHING WRONG

RA chief executive Lutombi told The Namibian yesterday that they are aware of Sankwasa's concerns, but denied that they committed the government to overpriced roads contracts.

“All the tenders that were awarded, of all current projects, went through a competitive advertised tender process. Hence, all the tenders were awarded regarding the price and technical expertise in line with the Roads Authority's procurement process,” he said.

Lutombi further stated that they responded to Sankwasa's letter with a detailed report on the cost of the dual-carriage freeways versus single carriageways.

The ministry of works then submitted their proposal to the Central Procurement Board (CPB) for scrutiny, and for the board to indicate whether it was done legally.

“We are still waiting for a response from the CPB,” he said.

Lutombi added that the risks of going for underpriced contracts include poor quality, and the project not being completed on time.

The RA advertised in newspapers last week for a consultant to carry out a study on road construction prices.

The three highways have a controversial past.

The Namibian reported in 2016 that the RA and the ministry of works committed the government to contracts of more than N$2 billion without following procedures, and claiming that they were made a priority by “the highest offices”.

The N$2 billion will have to be paid over two years, but the finance ministry, already under pressure from massive cash shortages, was forced to find N$800 million to pay road construction companies.
Source - Namibian

sOURCE

July 12, 2018

Asphalting in Rain

A New Innovative Technology for Road Asphalting in the rain

innovative technology for road asphalting

Asphalting in the rain: The Challenge

In February 2018, Sacyr approached ennomotive to solve a complex challenge: an innovative technology for road asphalting in the rain.
Traditionally, the asphalting of roads requires special humidity and temperature conditions to ensure the good quality of the surface. However, in tropical countries where it rains heavily and frequently, paving is extremely difficult, the quality of the asphalt is not always optimal, and oftentimes the operation needs to be halted.
Prior to this challenge, a few potential market solutions had been considered and tested, but they all solved the problem partially, so the expected effectiveness and results were not entirely satisfactory.
Sacyr was looking for a process or an asphalt mix that enabled the paving under heavy rain conditions and the quality of the final product needed to be similar to the asphalt obtained in dry weather.
For 6 weeks, 35 engineers from 10 countries accepted the challenge and submitted different solutions. After a thorough evaluation, Sacyr picked the two solutions that best met the evaluation criteria and awarded the winners, the Portuguese Civil Engineer Henrique Borges Miranda, and José Manuel Sanz, from Spain.
We have contacted Henrique Miranda to learn about his experience and motivations to compete in this challenge. Here you can read the full interview.

Henrique Miranda, an asphalt expert from Portugal

innovative technology for road asphalting

Can you introduce yourself briefly? What is your more relevant working experience?

My name is Henrique Manuel Borges Miranda, I’m from Portugal, and I live in the beautiful city of Lisbon.
Academically, I graduated in 2005 as Civil Engineer at ISEL (Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa, Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa), where I had the honor to receive the award for the best civil engineering student.
In 2008, I completed my Master of Science (Transports – Design and Construction of Transportation Infrastructures) at IST, with the collaboration of the National Laboratory of Civil Engineering, where I experimentally studied the fatigue behavior of asphalt rubber mixtures.
In 2016, I completed my Ph.D. in Civil Engineering at IST, with the collaboration of the National Laboratory of Civil Engineering, where I experimentally studied Stone Mastic Asphalt – mix design, production, application, and performance.
Regarding my professional experience, I started to work at ISEL as a monitor in 2003, past to assistant professor in 2008 and adjunct professor in 2017. I am also responsible for the courses on pavement engineering and topography.
During all this time, I simultaneously worked as road and pavement engineer for about 12 years, regarding, namely, road and pavement design, development of new materials (rubberized binders), construction and maintenance of highway pavements. More recently, I have been additionally invited to work as a researcher in the Research Centre for Territory, Transports, and Environment in Portugal.

What challenges have you participated in? Which do you like most?

Life is a challenge, and I like challenges, especially when they require thinking differently. Different is good. Every time we accept a challenge, we have the opportunity to grow no matter whether we win or not.
Fortunately, in 2017 I had the honor of winning the civil engineering innovation award for young engineers given by the Portuguese Association of Engineers. This innovation award was related to the patent I developed during my Ph.D. It was about a new method to design, in a day, stone mastic asphalt using just a computer or a smartphone, as opposed to the several weeks needed in the laboratory for the same mix design.
In terms of online challenges, this was my first one with ennomotive, and from what I had the opportunity to experience, it was a great competition with 35 international participants. This being my first ennomotive challenge, with such hard competition, it only makes me prouder and very honored to receive this award from Sacyr and Ennomotive.
I truly hope that this will be the first of many other challenges in which I participate and, if possible, win. At least, I will work even harder to try and accomplish that.
Having said that, I like challenges that involve the development of new materials/solutions that make our lives easier, not only in civil engineering and pavement engineering but in general, just because I like the feeling of thinking outside the box. It gives us space to dream of a different future than the one that we live in today.

How did you come up with the winning solution?

In the solution for “asphalting under heavy rain”, I basically focused on the main question to solve, without even knowing other possible existing solutions. I think that gave me the required mental space to develop a new solution, out of which we can make a new patent now. Inspiration came both from my background in pavement engineering and from the challenge proposed by Sacyr and ennomotive. Congratulations to them for bringing a good question to solve.
I truly hope this award inspires engineers in Portugal to do the same since I’m the first Portuguese Civil Engineer to get awarded at ennomotive. We have many extraordinary civil engineers, I see that every day with my students.

What is the level of innovation in the Portuguese Universities? Is there any technological area you would like to highlight in Portugal?

I cannot speak in the name of other Portuguese Universities, but I can tell you my experience at ISEL (Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa, Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa). Regarding pavement engineering, we are focused in establishing new research platforms about, namely, circular economy, and the development of new road materials such as new rubberized binder technology that allows the use of rubber powder of old life tires till 50% on the binder without losing storage stability.
Source- ennomotive

June 27, 2018

Kuwait Plans Second Phase for Airport

Ministry pushes tender to build second phase of new airport



KUWAIT: The Ministry of Public Works (MPW) recently contacted the Central Agency for Public Tenders (CAPT) requesting permission to announce offering a tender to build the second phase of the new airport project. The tender includes facility buildings, construction of the road leading to the new terminal and creating parking spaces.
Bidders have 60 days starting from the date in which the tender’s announcement is published in the national gazette ‘Kuwait Al-Youm’ to study the tender, the sources said, adding that a preliminary meeting would be held 21 days after publication. The sources added that 8.4 percent of the new airport project had been completed so far.
In other news, auditory bodies postponed awarding a tender offered by the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) to register and vaccinate animals in Kuwait to one of the applying companies, well-informed sources said. CAPT decided to postpone its final decision until complaints made by of two of the applying bidders were studied and investigated, the sources added. The project aims at vaccinating animals and protecting them against contagious diseases, namely those that can infect humans, the sources explained.
‘Bachelors’ residence
Ahmadi municipality’s engineering follow up department announced disconnecting electric current in 112 houses inhabited by ‘bachelors’ in private residential areas in the governorate. This step was made as part of efforts to address violations in residential areas where owners of government homes rent rooms in their houses to single expatriate men in violation of the law.
Hiring teachers
The Ministry of Education (MOE) contacted the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to receive permission to dispatch committees to interview and hire teachers from Egypt, Jordan, Palestine and Tunisia by the end of the month, assistant undersecretary for public education Fatima Al-Kandary announced. Meanwhile, Kandary added that the supplemental exams were going according to schedule according to the same procedures followed during the finals’ exams. She added that fewer students were sitting for the exams, making them more comfortable. Further, Kandary said that considerable numbers of evening students did not show up to the exams, adding that those would be considered doublers. She also said that some students were caught cheating red-handed.
Voluntary teams
Following the end of a grace period given by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor’s (MSAL) community development department to all voluntary teams taking part in the ‘Bader’ project to update their information, MSAL is currently preparing lists of the teams that failed to do so to be submitted to minister Hind Al-Sabeeh for consultancy. “They will most likely be written off,” informed sources expected.  The sources explained that the total number of registered voluntary teams was 182, while only 78 of them were active and effective, which means that 104 of them had been graced a fortnight to rectify their status.
By A Saleh
Source- Kuwait times