Chinese construction companies have signed a 1.9 billion birr contract to build two major asphalt highways in Tigrai and Oromia regional states.
China Railway Number Three Engineering Group, which is already working on two other Tigrai roads will build this one for 874.3 million birr. The 101Km Abadi-Hawzen-Freweyni highway will connect western Tigrai with the eastern part within three years, according to the contract deal.
Net Consulting Engineers and Architects will handle the consulting work for this project. According to an ERA statement, the cost of the project will be covered by the government.
The road is part of a group of improvement projects being carried out in the area. The 76Km Maitsemry-Dima road is in the final stages. The 87Km Dima-Feyelweha is under construction at a cost of 777 million birr, and the design work for the 93Km Dima-Abadi is in the final stages. The new road segment is the fourth and final part of this major project.
In Oromia regional state, the Nekempt-Bedele road, which is part of the Nekempt-Bedele-Metu upgrading project, will tie two main highways (Addis-Nekempt-Gimbi-Assosa and Addis-Jima-Metu-Gambela). It will be upgraded to an asphalt highway.
The Chinese CGC Overseas Construction, which is involved in four other similar projects, will undertake the 96Km road project at a cost of 1.065 billion birr. Based on the contract the project is expected to be finished in three years. Beza Consulting Engineers (Ethiopia) and Beza Consulting Engineers (Kenya) will jointly consult the Nekempt-Bedele project.
For this project implementation the Ethiopian government, Kuwait Fund, OPEC Fund and Arab Bank for Africa Development will contribute the finance. Kuwait Fund has contributed close to 40 percent, which is the largest amount.
The area is a major agricultural producer of coffee and tea.
“When the upgrading project is finished it will contribute greatly to transporting agricultural products,” Zaid Welde Gabriel, head of ERA said at the contract signing ceremony held on Tuesday February 7.
In addition the road will help a major sugar development project at Dedesa.
Meanwhile the 112Km Bedele-Metu asphalt project, the second lot of Nekempt-Bedele-Metu road project is in the bidding process.