Ghana and Burkina Faso have opened bidding for the Accra-Ouagadougou Railway Interconnectivity Project.
Burkina Faso’s Ambassador to Ghana, Pingrenoma Zagre and Ghana’s Railway Development Minister, Joe Ghartey, witnessed the opening of the process on Monday, May 6, 2019, in Accra.
It would be recalled that following the publication of the Expression of Interest advertisements in the two countries, 16 firms expressed interest to undertake the project on a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis.
The expression of interest proposals were jointly opened in Accra on May 28, 2018 in the presence of representatives of the firms who attended the Tender Opening Ceremony held at the Alisa Hotel.
Both countries agreed at the time and constituted a Joint Evaluation Committee with membership from relevant public institutions in Ghana and Burkina Faso to evaluate the Expression of Interest Proposals submitted by various firms and consortia.
After the evaluation, it was agreed that 12 out of the 16 firms/consortia met the minimum evaluation criteria.
The Committee in the interest of stronger competition, recommended that the 12 firms be shortlisted to the next stage of the procurement process, that is the request for qualification stage.
The request for qualification documents were issued to the 12 shortlisted firms on January 17, 2019 with assistance by the Transaction Advisor after approval by the Joint Committee of Experts.
The deadline for the submission of the request for qualification documents by the shortlisted firms was initially slated for March 25, 2019.
However, upon requests from some of the shortlisted firms, the deadline was extended for an additional 30 working days or May 6, 2019.
At the end of deadline by 3:pm on Monday, May 6th, Railways Development Minister, Joe Ghartey reported that four out of the 12 shortlisted firms responded to the request for qualification and submitted their qualification documents as requested.
The four companies are China Railway, African Global Development, Frontline Capital Advisors Consortium and China Railway No. 10.
According to the Minister, “an independent Joint Evaluation Committee with membership from both Ghana and Burkina Faso would immediately commence an evaluation process from tomorrow, Tuesday, 7th May, 2019.”
He added that upon submission of the evaluation report by the Joint Evaluation Committee, the necessary approvals would be sought and the next stage of the procurement process, that is the request for proposals, would be launched.
He noted that “at this stage detailed technical and financial proposals will be requested from the pre-qualified bidders for further evaluation.”
He stated that “the most technically and financially competitive bidder will then be selected as the preferred bidder going for precontract negotiations.”
It would be recalled that in December 2018, Ghana and Burkina Faso signed an agreement to implement the Railway Inter-connectivity Project.
The agreement was signed at the end of the three-day 12th Session of the Ghana-Burkina Faso Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation (PJCC).
The Session was held in Accra from the 12th to 14th of December, 2018.
October 2020 was set in 2018 by both countries as the completion date for the construction of the 1,100 kilometre Accra-Ouagadougu railway project.
When completed, the line is expected to promote the free movement of goods and persons between both countries.
Specifically, it is expected to impact positively on the transportation of goods from the Tema Port in Ghana to landlocked Burkina Faso.
Mr. Ghartey in a speech said the project would begin at the Tema Port through, Ho, Hohoe, Yendi, Tamale, Paga and continue through Dakola to Ouagadougou.
He recounted that the project is a vision of President Akufo-Addo and his Burkinabe counterpart, Roch Marc Christian Kabore.
Based on an advise from the Joint Committee, he said the Ministry of Railways Development Ghana and Ministry for Transport and Urban Mobility, Burkina Faso agreed to engage a Transaction Adviser to advise both countries on the construction of the project on a Built, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis.
He stated that the primary objective of the project was to facilitate trade between Ghana and Burkina Faso through an efficient rail system.
At all time, he said the interest of Burkina Faso and Ghana would be paramount.
By the first quarter of 2020, he added “we will start the construction process.”