Seven Chinese companies seeking to be prequalified for new Demerara bridge

An artist’s impression of the new Demerara Harbour Bridge (Ministry of Public Infrastructure rendering)

Chinese companies yesterday dominated the submission of tenders to prequalify for the financing, designing and building of the new Demerara River Bridge.

The National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) opened tenders from eleven companies and most were from China.

The table below shows the names of the companies whose prequalification proposals were opened yesterday. Most of the firms had a representative present and all submitted their documents in original form along with two hard copies and a soft copy.

The deadline for the submission from companies interested in prequalifying to bid for the contract to design, finance and build the new Demerara River Crossing had been extended to yesterday from its original date of October 17th 2017.

Project Manager Rawlston Adams had told Stabroek News last month that a decision was made to extend the prequalification submission date because of requests received from many companies.

The Ministry of Public Infrastructure has said that from this list three will be shortlisted and requested to submit designs and offer a fixed price lump sum bid for the bridge and approach roads.

Adams had explained that the shortlisting of three companies will come after the evaluation of the general pool. The evaluation process can take up to six weeks and could be further extended in some cases to facilitate due diligence.

Some representatives yesterday did not seem to understand the process as they believed that the shortlisting would have been done then and enquired about this repeatedly. NPTAB officials had to explain to them that they were only facilitating the opening of the tenders for the prequalification process after which some would be selected and would be asked by the procuring entity to submit their financials.

The selecting of only three from those prequalified to submit bids had drawn criticism here and accusations that it is not in compliance with the law.

In the advertisement for prequalification, MPI had explained the project details. “The Government of Guyana through the Ministry of Public Infrastructure plans to construct a new bridge across the Demerara River. The selected location is approximately 2 kilometers north of the existing floating bridge, and the new bridge will span from Houston on the eastern bank of the Demerara River to Versailles on the western bank of the Demerara River. The new bridge will be an essential part of the road network and will also have a significant impact on marine traffic passing under the bridge,” the advertisement stated.

“The project comprises of the construction of an approximately 1500m long fixed bridge with a movable span and two approach roads of a total length of 600m. It is envisaged that the project will commence in 2018 and will be delivered in 2020. The employer has conducted a feasibility study including initial surveys, and will provide in the tender the complete basic design as a reference design,” it adds.