China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) has dismissed press reports that it was among firms blacklisted by the World Bank over fraud and shoddy work.
CHEC recently controversially won the contract for an $8bn railway project from Malaba through Kampala to Kigali, beating the Chinese firm China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC). It then emerged that the company had earlier been blacklisted by the World Bank, casting doubt at its capacity to deliver the project.
“There must be a misunderstanding,” CHEC declared in a statement on Monday. “One of the subsidiaries of CHEC’s mother company was put on the blacklist before CHEC became part of the group.”
It added that the World Bank’s debarment of China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) originated from the alleged engagement in collusive practices by China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) under the World Bank-financed road projects in Philippines. At that time, CHEC was a fully-independently- operated company and was totally unrelated to CRBC or the alleged engagement in collusive practices, the statement said.
Meanwhile, the Chinese government has written to Uganda’s ministry of Works and Transport endorsing CHEC as “capable of undertaking” the project.
“CHEC has completedis constructing several railways projects in China including the two contract packages of high speed rail, which forms part of the Lanzhou to Xinjiang and Shanghai to Kunming high -speed rail network,” said Chinese Transport Minister Yang Chuantang in the letter.
He added: “Chinese government is very aware of CHEC’s capacity in most sectors of infrastructure, including rail. Because of government’s confidence in CHEC, the rail sections awarded to it are often very complex and geologically complicated.”
Uganda is expected to finish the railway project by 2018.
Source : The Observer