Single bidder left behind

ISLAMABAD – The National Highway Authority (NHA) has left with no other option but either to give a multibillion Sukkur Hyderabad Motorway project to previous government’s ‘blue eyed’ contractor or annul the process as M/s Zahir Khan and Brothers is the sole runner left behind in the race.  

The NHA has disqualified M/s TECHNO-CMC-ACC, a consortium of local and an Italian firm, for the Sukkur Hyderabad Motorway project. According to the evaluation report, the consortium is disqualified on technical grounds as its registration with tax authorities, construction experience and net worth were not aligned with the RFP.

The NHA had already failed to get an overwhelming response from international firms even in its ‘second attempt’ during the present government regarding this project as it had received only two bids for the construction of Sukkur-Hyderabad Motorway.

The two bidders included a local construction company M/s Zahir Khan and Brothers (ZKB) and M/s TECHNO-CMC-ACC.

However, after expulsion of the latter from the competition, only the financial proposal of ZKB would be evaluated in financial evaluation.   

A senior NHA officer on the condition of anonymity said that though there is no bar on awarding projects, only a single bidder remained technically qualified as it is a single stage two envelope process and the financial bids are also available with NHA.

NHA left with no other option but to give project to Zahir Khan and Brothers or annul it  

It is pertinent to mention here that this is a second attempt of the incumbent government to build a critical and last missing component of Peshawar to Karachi motorway network.

In its earlier attempt, the government had received poor response to the international tender for the project as well when only a single bidder approached NHA in 2020.

The road authority after evaluating the legal aspects at that time had decided to go for re-tender instead of going with single tender.

The project has been proposed to be constructed on a Public Private Partnership basis at an approved construction cost of approximately Rs191 billion. The Sukkur-Hyderabad Motorway project is expected to be completed in thirty months following financial close.

The project envisaged construction of a 306km-long green-field six-lane access controlled motorway on build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis at a cost of Rs191 billion having concession period of 25 years.

The private sector will be given the tolling and other ancillary development rights of the project to cover its life-cycle costs and earn an adequate rate of return on investment.

The government is supporting the financial viability and bankability of the project through provision of capital and operational Viability Gap Funding (VGF) by committing to provide a maximum of Rs43 billion during construction period and operational VGF payments spread over the first 7 operational years.

The Sukkur-Hyderabad motorway design is proposed to be a high-speed toll road facility for efficient and safe transportation, which would start from Hyderabad at the end of the Karachi-Hyderabad motorway M-9 and terminate at Naro Canal—a start of the Sukkur-Multan motorway, M-5.

The project alignment passes through Jamshoro, Tando Adam, Hala, Shahdadpur, Nawabshah, Moro, Dadu, Naushehro Feroze, Mehrabpur, Rasoolpur, Larkana, Khairpur and Sukkur.

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