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Mostly Chinese companies interested in building new Demerara River bridge

The proposed three-lane new Demerara River Bridge.

Several Chinese companies on Tuesday dominated the contest to be selected as the top three to be invited to build the US$170 million bridge across the Demerara River.

Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson told Demerara Waves Online News that the 11 submissions would be “rated and assessed and the top ones will be asked to submit formal bids”. He estimated that such a process could take about two months that could lead to the selection of at least three.

Government has already decided that the three-lane fixed bridge would be built from Versailles, West Bank Demerara to Houston, East Bank Demerara.

Of the small number of non-Chinese companies, two are European: Ballast Nedam, and BAM which are both registered in The Netherlands. Ballast Nedam has built several large and medium river bridges in neighbouring Suriname. A third European company, the Spain-based Puentes y Calzadas Infraestructuras is a junior joint venture partner with Sino Hydro Company Limited of China.

A BAM delegation out of the United Kingdom had recently visited Guyana on fact-finding mission.

Also vying to be in the top three pre-qualified companies are three Brazilian companies OAS Engenharia e Construcao; Coema Pais Landscaping Urbanisation and Services Limited in joint venture with Constructora Sanches Tripoloni Limited.

The lone Indian company in the race is AFCONS Infrastructure.

The Chinese companies that are not competing in joint ventures are  China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, China Railway Major Bridge Engineering Group Company Limited in joint venture with AVICINTEL Project Engineering Limited, China Communications Construction Company Limited, and CITIC Constructtion Company Limited in joint venture with China Railway 17 Bureau Group Company Limited.

CITIC Construction Company is listed as a Chinese state-owned conglomerate. All the other Chinese companies that have bid for the project have had historical origins as state-owned entities.