Sh180bn Nairobi-Nakuru highway gets the nod

A petition by a consortium of four foreign firms seeking to block the award of a contract for the construction of the Sh180 billion Nairobi-Nakuru-Mau Summit highway has been thrown out.

The four firms had appealed against a decision by the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) to award the tender to the Rift Valley Connect (RVC) consortium, which is composed of Vinci Highways, Meridian Infrastructure Africa Fund and Vinci Concessions.

KeNHA had declared the four firms – African Infrastructure Investment Fund 3 Partnership, Egis Projects S.A, Mota-Engil-Engenharia E Construcao Africa, S.A and Orascom Construction – as the reserve bidder meaning that they can only step in if RVC fails to undertake the project.

The Public-Private Partnership (PPP) committee, the State tribunal that arbitrates on public tender disputes, said that the four firms had failed to prove their allegation that KeNHA had engaged in a non-transparent bidding process that interfered with fair competition.

“The prayer that the decision of the contracting authority (KeNHA) dated February 27, 2019, be declared irregular, unfair, unprocedural and unlawful is hereby denied,” committee chairman James Kihara ordered.

Road construction at the Sobea-Salgaa-Mau Summit stretch on the Nakuru-Eldoret highway. FILE PHOTO | NMG

“The petitioners have not demonstrated to this committee the law, procedure or provisions of the request for proposal that were breached by the respondent.”

The move now paves the way for building of the 175-kilometre highway under the PPP arrangement, nearly two years after KeNHA invited several global firms to bid for the project. The project will involve expansion of the road into a four-lane dual carriageway from Rironi in Limuru to Mau Summit in Nakuru County as well as rehabilitation of the Maai Mahiu-Naivasha road.

User fees RVC will be expected to build, maintain, manage and operate the highway and recover money from motorists in the form of user fees. It is part of the controversial road tolling programme on major roads under the PPP arrangement.

Source: Business Daily

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