News Column

Port Contractor On World Bank Ban

July 31, 2014



THE parent company of the Chinese firm that was awarded the N$3,9 billion contract for the construction of the Namport terminal at Walvis Bay is under a World Bank ban over tender rigging.

The Walvis Bay port terminal is being bankrolled by the African Development Bank (ADB) under a deal that was underwritten by the Ministry of Finance.

China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) Limited, the parent company of the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) that won the tender, was banned in 2009. The ban ends in 2017.

The Colombian media reported early this year that the CHEC and the CCCC were also banned by the Asian Development Bank after they allegedly bribed the former Bangladeshi Prime Minister's son, Arfat 'Koko' Rahman, for a project to construct a port in Chittagong.

The reports further said the ban on the CCCC and most of its subsidiaries also extends to several other multilateral agencies.

The reports further said CCCC was banned after a string of corruption scandals, involving its subsidiaries including CHEC, were uncovered in the Phillipines, Bangladesh, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea and Uganda.

In Colombo for instance, the CCCC was one of the major investors in a project to reclaim land on the shoreline to make way for the Colombo Port City. The company was also said to have eyed taking ownership of 20 hectares on completion of the project.

Information on the World Bank website says the ban on the CCCC is a result of "an investigation of the National Roads Improvement and Management Project by the World Bank's Integrity vice presidency".

According to the Tender Bulletin, the ban on CHEC and CCCC does not extend to the ADB and the company is eligible for the tender to construct the Walvis Bay Port.

The CHEC representative in Namibia, Yang Le, yesterday said he did not know anything about the ban.

"We are just a project office. The formal response will be issued by the parent company from China," Yang said.

The Tender Board of Namibia spokesperson, Leoni du Toit, denied any knowledge of the ban.

"I cannot comment on that without the tender documents. They are with the parent ministry (Mines and Energy)," she told The Namibian.

Namport's port engineer Elzevir Gelderbloem told The Namibian in an email yesterday that the ports company had done some research on the ban before signing the agreement.

Gelderbloem said since the ban only applies to "projects relating to roads and bridges" and not to port projects such as the Namport project, the company will go ahead with its plans.


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Source: AllAfrica


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