Over 33 companies initially expressed interest in the pre-bidding phase of the new Bugesera International Airport (BIA) but only 11 were prequalified late last year.
The multi-million dollar project will see the construction of the airport in Bugesera District, Eastern Province.
James Kamanzi, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure (Mininfra), told The New Times yesterday that the names of companies could not be published since it would require authorisation from the firms.
“An evaluation exercise of 33 companies was carried out based on preset criteria for Build, Operate, and Transfer (BOT) which is the approach decided upon to implement the a Airport project, and 11 were prequalified for the second phase,” he explained.
According to Kamanzi, the 11 firms were invited for a site visit and they all sent representatives.
“The next step, most likely before the end of this week, is to submit Request For Proposal (RFP) or tender documents to the companies so they can send their technical and financial proposals”.
The ‘Financial Close’ – the period of time after an agreement has been entered when all conditions have been fulfilled or waived, and all documents have been properly filed and executed, is planned for March, he said.
“The companies indicated that they required more time to prepare their submissions, since the process is inherently complex, both in ascertaining the technical requirements as well as in structuring and soliciting funding from lenders. The request for extending financial closure is being reviewed,” Kamanzi noted.
Once the financial close is reached, it is anticipated that the winning bidder, will take approximately, between eight and 12 months to mobilise resources for actual work to begin.
Thereafter, the actual construction and operation of the new airport is expected to last between three and four years.
“For this type of project, usually several companies pool together their resources to undertake the project. In this case, there are eleven consortiums, and only one can go through.”
On completion, Bugesera will complement Kigali International Airport, which is now operating at maximum capacity.
Based on the initial design, the airport is supposed to handle 450 passengers per peak hour and over 1 million annually during its first phase.
It will have the capacity to handle 15,500 tonnes of cargo annually with eight flight movements per hour during peak hours.Follow https://twitter.com/KarhangaJames