Fresh pre-qualification bid soon for Padma Bridge construction

The government will invite fresh pre-qualification bid for construction of multi-billion-dollar Padma Bridge within a few days.

The decision on floatation of fresh tender was taken at a high-level meeting held Sunday at the Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) in presence of Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain.

World Bank representative in Bangladesh, head of the panel of experts for the Padma Bridge Project Jamilur Reza Chowdhury and senior officials of the BBA and communications ministry were present at the meeting.

“We have decided to invite international bid afresh for the construction of Padma Bridge and it will take place within a couple of days,” the communications minister informed the FE.

The decision on fresh tender, according to sources, came against the backdrop of non-acceptance of previously short-listed companies following opposition from a leading donor.

In its previous bidding, BBA authorities short-listed five international firms for the construction work of the two-tier steel-truss-composite bridge and sent the list to the donors.

The authorities are expected to seek some new conditions in its fresh bidding, project insiders said.

Some 11 international firms participated in the previous bidding but none of them, according to sources familiar with the project, had the raking piling experience.

The previous pre-qualification bidding, which was opened on April 10, sought experience from the bidders on both bore piling and raking piling which means experience in concrete and steel piling.

Officials said the fresh bidding would need at least two months more to complete the evaluation and selection process, which could also affect the deadline set for completion of the project.

Earlier, the communications ministry set October 30 as the deadline for awarding the project work to the selected bidder.

Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain announced on many occasions that construction of the mega bridge would kickstart by January next year.

The implementation cost for the country’s biggest 6.15-km Padma Multipurpose Bridge at Mawa-Janjira corridor was revised upward to US$ 2.4 billion. But the cost, according to a recent assessment, could surge up to $ 2.9 billion.

The Awami League-led alliance government has made Padma Bridge one of its top priority projects and wants to finish the construction by the end of 2013, a year before its five-year tenure expires.

thefinancialexpress