ERA awards ambitious road projects to local contractors (Ethiopia)

By MulukenYewondwossen | Capital Ethiopia June 7, 2016

The roads authority, responsible for managing federal road projects, has signed a 3.123 billion birr contract for the rehabilitation of three roads.

According to the deal, the contractors are responsible to manage the projects for given years after they accomplished the maintenance.
Samson Wondimu, Public Relations Head of ERA, told Capital that this kind of contract agreement is unique for the road sector in the country.

“Usually, the contractors undertake projects and transfer them to ERA, which is responsible for maintaining the roads,” he explained. However, under the new contract, contractors will have added responsibility for the management of ongoing road maintenance for a given number of years after the repair is conducted.

On June 1, the state owned Ethiopian Construction Works Corporation, a conglomerate of Ethiopian Roads Construction Corporation, and Ethiopian Water Works Construction Enterprise signed an agreement to rehabilitate a 60km stretch of asphalt road on the highway from Addis Ababa to Djibouti at a cost of about 1.4 billion birr.

The project site, located between Adama and Awash Park will be rehabilitated within three months and the contractor would be responsible for managing road maintenance for the next seven years after rehabilitation is complete.

The other rehabilitation project, awarded to the regional Amhara Road Works Enterprise, is for a 75km road that connects Fiche and Goha Tsion. The road is part of the highway connecting central and north Ethiopia and will be managed by the Enterprise for the next seven years, following three years of repair. According to the deal, Amhara Road Works Enterprise will undertake the operation at a cost of 732 million birr.

The third extraordinary contract signed between ERA and Defense Construction Enterprise for the rehabilitation and management of the 92km Mekelle – Adigudom – Wekro road. The state owned defense enterprise will manage the road for the next three years, at the cost of 1.03 billion birr.

“The roads will be full maintained and managed by the contractors for the contract period,” Samson said.

ERA first issued such extraordinary contracts to international contractors in March this year for a road project that links Bure with Nekempt. The 258km, 5.7 billion birr project was signed with Spanish IL and FS Transportation Networks Limited- Elsamex S.A (ITNL-Elsamex Joint Venture) and JMC Projects of India.

Much like the three agreements signed this week, the international contractors will also be responsible for maintaining the road for five years after construction is completed.

However, the contracts signed for the Nekempt-Bure road and those signed most recently with the local contractors are not similar, according to Samson. “Because the Nekempt-Bure is a new road that includes design, while the three road projects awarded this week are for existing roads, and just for management after rehabilitation,” he explained.

On the same day, the authority also signed two new road projects with the Defense Construction Enterprise and Ethiopian Construction Works Enterprise to construct the 94km Mekelle – Dangolat – Samre – Fenarewa road and for the construction of a 53km Awash – Dulecha road, respectively. TheAwash – Dulecha project will cost 694 million birr, while the Mekelle – Dangolat – Samre – Fenarewa is expected to consume about 1.6 billion birr.

The cost of ERA’s three rehabilitation and two road construction projects will be covered by funds from the country’s public treasury.

Related stories

AsokoNews Brief

Sign up for our weekly Africa Business Digest, highlighting the Top 5 stories per sector