Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Bolivia: China's Harzone Industry Corp. Wins Contract to Build Bridges

China’s Harzone Industry Corp. has been selected to build two bridges in Bolivia’s Amazon region that, once completed, will be the nation’s longest, the official ABI news agency said Friday (January 24).

The $69.4 million contract was signed in the northern Amazon province of Pando by Harzone and the Bolivian Highway Administration (ABC), in a ceremony attended by President Evo Morales.

Construction of the bridges over the Beni and Madre de Dios Rivers is part of the government’s plan to improve transportation links in the country.

During the rainy season, the rivers overflow their banks and area communities are cut off due to the impossibility of boat transportation.

COMMENT: The 580-meter-long (1,900-foot-long) bridge over the Madre de Dios river will be concluded in 3½ years and cost $42.2 million, 70% of which will come from the national government and 30% from Pando’s government, the ABC announced.

The Beni II bridge, which will stretch for 480 meters (1,570 feet) and cost $27.2 million, will provide a first-ever road link between the provinces of Beni and Pando.

Politically, as leftist governments have risen in Latin America, increasingly PRC-based firms have established a foot-hold in the region.

It is unknown as to how many international firms were asked to bid on the projects.