The long-delayed Addis Africa International Convention and Exhibition Center (AAICEC) project has been awarded to a Chinese firm, CGCOC GROUP CO. Ltd, which won the bid for the construction of its first phase.
The Board of Directors of AAICEC, which has been in the process of selecting a construction company after floating an international tender, finally chose the Chinese firm for the construction of the center. But the contract award and agreement signing have not yet been held.
“We’ll soon sign the agreement with the winning company,” Ayalew Abey, general manager of the Center, told Fortune. “They will start the construction shortly.”
The company is also negotiating with the selected firm on the details of the contract, according to Ayalew, although he refrained from giving details about the discussion points with CGCOC.
The bid for the phase one project was announced in November 2016 for the second time. The 2.7 billion Br project has two phases. The first phase will incorporate the construction of a convention/exhibition center and shops. The second phase will see the construction of a conference centre that has the capacity to hold 5,000 people, as well as a restaurant and hotel.
The buildings will lie on 11ha of land located around Meri Loqe, in Yeka District, near CMC. Once the construction begins, the winning company will have to complete the construction of the first phase within two years.
During the bid, nine companies competed to work on the construction. Among the bidder companies, two of them were local, and seven were foreign contractors. Out of the nine companies, four Chinese state-owned companies managed to pass the technical evaluation.
The winning company, CGCOC, offered close to 1.2 billion Br, according to sources.
The first round of bidding for the first phase failed, as the Center was unable to find a suitably experienced, qualified and priced contractor. During the tender, six of the competing companies failed at the technical evaluation stage, while the offer from the remaining company, which passed the technical evaluation, was not complete.
During the current tender, the company selected CGCOC, which has previously worked on different projects in Ethiopia, including the third phase of the Turmi Project, a 25.2Km road construction, the production area of the Ethiopian Glass Factory, and the Nile River Bridge project. In addition, the company was recently awarded a contract for the construction of the 2.5 billion Br Bole Lemi industrial park phase two project.
The AAICEC was established in 2013 with 20 founding shareholders. The Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce & Sectoral Associations initiated the project. Ethio-South Investment S.C, a group of Ethiopian investors living in South Africa, own 115,000 shares, and the Addis Ababa City Administration owns shares worth one million Birr. Awash Insurance Company S.C and Bank of Abyssinia are also major shareholders. Currently, it has 525 shareholders.
The construction of the center has been delayed due to low interest from the business community in investing in the project. Therefore, it took the company over three years to completely sell the 300,000 shares with a par value of 1,000 Br, that it floated for public subscription.
“The project will change the meeting industry of Ethiopia in a few years,” said Kumneger Teketel, managing director of Ozzie Business and Hospitality Group. “It will help the country position itself as a competitor with Nairobi and the newly emerging meeting center, Kigali.”
AAICEC also hired three local supervising companies, including Universal Consultants, Consulting Architects & Engineers Plc, which will serve as a leading consultant.
The construction is expected to be started within two months time. The other structures of phase two will follow when the first phase structures are operational. [Fortune]