The government of Zimbabwe signed a Concession Agreement and Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) framework with Geiger International. The signing will pave way for the Harare-Beitbridge highway dualisation project.
Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr. Joram Gumbo signed on behalf of the Government of Zimabwe , while Vice President Mr. Erik Geiger signed on behalf of Geiger International.
The project was valued at $984 184 592,68 and the costing was based on a feasibility study done by Stuart Scott International through an international tender funded by the Development Bank of South Africa. The study pegged the project at between $900 million and $1,2 billion and the Government of Zimbabwe felt that the costing was fair.
Construction of the road will be undertaken over a 3 year period and implemented under a Build Operate and Transfer arrangement running for 25 years. The scope of the work being covered includes full dualisation of the road, widening and rehabilitation of the existing road and construction of 37 new two lane bridges and eight toll gates.
Due to the current rainy season, road construction can only begin in earnest around March 2017.Preliminary works include mobilisation of materials, engagement of local sub-contractors and finalisation of road mapping. Minister Gumbo said 40% of the value of the project would be sub-contracted to local companies.
Mr. Geiger expressed his understanding of the importance of the project to the nation of Zimbabwe as well as surrounding countries. He also indicated that they had done all the background work necessary for preparation and where ready to start work on the highway. He also highlighted that this was a high profile project for their company.
The EPC contract for the Harare-Chirundu Road, which is part of this corridor, has been approved by Government and a Chinese firm CHEC, is expected in the country for the signing ceremony. That portion of the project will be implemented under a loan facility and this has necessitated separation of the two contracts.