Foreign cos make queries at Padma Bridge pre-bid meet

37 eager to compete in short-listing
The government has received good response from a good number of foreign companies from Asia, Europe and the USA to participate in the pre-qualification bidding of the country’s expensive Padma multipurpose bridge project.

Officials said 37 foreign companies including from Japan, Korea, China, France and the USA have shown their interest to compete in the short-listing process of the U$ 2.4 billion project during the pre-bid meeting, which was held at Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) Wednesday.

They said, of them 33 companies, all from abroad, bought the pre-qualification documents till Wednesday.

“The response is very encouraging. We have received around 100 representatives of the interested companies at the meeting,” said an official.

He said the participants made queries about some technical sides of the project design.

“They were found satisfied and positive in attitude at Wednesday’s meeting,” said the official adding the authorities are expecting to get more responses as the deadline of the bidding closure still has 27 days to go.

The Bangladesh Bridge Authority, the executing agency of the mega project, opened the pre-qualification bidding of the road-cum-rail project on April 10, shortly after the project’s key lenders including the World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency approved the document.

The interested bidders will participate in the short-listing for the construction of the main segment of the bridge, the length of which has been fixed at 6.15 km.

The pre-bid meeting has been arranged a little before the closure of deadline of the proposal submission to respond to the interested bidders’ necessary queries.

Auckland-based Maunsell Aecom, which is designing the project, displayed different features of the bridge and responded to queries of the interested bidders at the meeting. High officials of BBA were present.

Once constructed by 2013, the Padma Multipurpose Bridge at Mawa-Jajira will be Bangladesh’s longest bridge. Until now the 4.80-kilometre long Bangabandhu Multipurpose Bridge across the river Jamuna is the country’s largest bridge. It was constructed in 1997 at a cost of nearly one billion dollars.

The two-tier Padma bridge is one of the top priority projects of the present government, which has set to complete it by the end of 2013, a year before its five-year tenure expires.