Consultancy deal signing today

Dhaka,  Tue,  25 October 2016
Published : 19 Oct 2016, 00:24:14
Karnaphuli tunnel

Consultancy deal signing today

Munima Sultana

A tri-national consultancy firm of Australian, Denmark and Bangladesh has been picked to supervise the construction work of the country's first river tunnel down the Karnaphuli, financed by China.

The Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) is set to sign an agreement with the joint-venture firm as construction supervision consultant (CSC) at a ceremony in the conference room of Setu Bhaban today (Wednesday).

Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader will witness the deal signing.

SMEC International Private Limited Australia and COWI Denmark in association with and Partners Denmark Limited and ACE Consultant Limited and Strategy Consultant Limited clinched the deal on its Tk 2.91-billion quotation for the work.

BBA Chief Engineer Kabir Ahmed said, "Under the contract, the firm will carry out design review and check, and supervision-consultancy work on the US$705 million project for next five years."

Sources said the JV company was picked from among five foreign firms whom the BBA had issued request for proposal.  Seventeen firms participated in the expression-of-interest bidding called last year for the CSC work, they added.

The cabinet committee on public purchase approved the firm's proposal on September 07.

The BBA has taken step to construct the Karnaphuli tunnel after China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) found the 3.4-kilometre passageway viable at the estuary of the river for establishing link between the port city of Chittagong and deep-sea port and resort-town Cox's Bazar.

The Authority also signed in June last year commercial contract with the CCCC to construct the maiden tunnel.

In November 2015, ECNEC approved the project involving an estimated cost of Tk 84.46 billion.

Chinese President Xi Jinping inaugurated the tunnel-construction work during his visit to Bangladesh on October 14-15, a raft of 27 accords were signed for development programmes in Bangladesh that will fetch billions of dollars for financing.
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