• July 13th, 2020

China to shortlist airport contractors

The authorities in China will screen and recommend a shortlist of Chinese companies operating in Namibia for the much-anticipated upgrading and expansion of the Hosea Kutako International Airport. 
This was confirmed by the Chinese embassy spokesperson Lu Hairong yesterday. 
“The method for selecting a general contractor for this project in the spirit of fairness and equality is also a part of the consensus between the two governments,” she said. 

“The line ministries of the Chinese government shall screen and recommend a shortlist of Chinese companies operating in Namibia which are competent and qualified for this important project to the Namibian government. The final winner shall be selected through the bidding process managed by the Namibian authorities in accordance with Namibian domestic laws. The Chinese embassy in Namibia neither gets involved nor interferes in the selection process.” 

President Hage Geingob initially cancelled the awarding of the airport upgrading tender late in 2015 after the cost of the project was inflated from N$3 billion to N$7 billion through suspected dubious means. 
The cancellation was challenged in the High Court, where 
government first lost that case before the Supreme Court subsequently overturned the decision. 
The Chinese embassy spokesperson added that based upon the consensus reached by the heads of state of China and Namibia, the Chinese side agreed to finance the massive upgrading and expansion project.   

“The terms of the financing package, which consists of a concessional loan and a grant, are quite favourable to Namibia in terms of concessionality, reflecting the special relationship between the two countries. So far as I know, the scope of the project has been finalised and the other details on how to implement are still in discussion between the line ministries of (the) two governments,” Hairong stated. 
New Era recently reported that finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi was expected to finalise the loan agreement with China for the project after the Asian giant gave the go-ahead for a “special financial package”. 

Finalising the loan facility for the airport expansion is one of the priority projects that Shiimi has to deal with as outlined in his targets set by President Geingob. Funding for the airport upgrade forms part of the US$60 billion in new development financing for Africa pledged by Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing in 2018. 

During a conference call with his Chinese counterpart about two months ago, Geingob expressed appreciation to China for having “approved the special financial package to help Namibia commence with plans to modernise and expand its main airport to international standards”.
– ebrandt@nepc.com.na 
On the job… A construction worker on-site during the temporary N$250 million expansion of the Hosea Kutako International Airport.

Photo: Emmency Nuukala

Edgar Brandt
2020-06-10 10:02:47 | 1 months ago


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