Chinese companies to build highway to highest standards


Ivan Brajović, the Montenegrin Minister of Transport has announced that the Highway Bar Boljare will be built by the Chinese Communications Construction Company (CCCC), and its subsidiary China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) to the highest standards.

There follows the interview as published in Xinhua with the minister’s statements followed by the original press release as published on the Montenegrin government website.

The Xinhua interview is as follows:

“Interview: Chinese company to build best highway in southeast Europe: Montenegrin minister 2013-07-30 14:00:13

PODGORICA, July 29 (Xinhua) — A Chinese company will follow the highest European Union (EU) standards to build in Montenegro the best highway in Southeast Europe, said Montenegrin Transport Minister Ivan Brajović.

Early July, the Montenegrin government announced that Chinese Communications Construction Company (CCCC), and its subsidiary China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) will build the first 41 km section of the planned Bar Boljare highway, connecting the north and south of the mountainous Adriatic country.

“Highway Bar Boljare is considered to be one of the most important and valuable projects in recent history of Montenegro,” Brajović told Xinhua.

Over the past eight months, Brajović said, his ministry had negotiations with potential partners, from China, Turkey, the United States, Canada, Poland, Italy, and Germany.

“What was important to us, is that we have a partner that can deliver this project in time, a respectable company with experience in projects of such scale and importance, and with financial offer which could be sustainable for our state budget,” he said.
The minister said his visits to China were helpful in making the choice.

“If everything goes as planned, we expect that actual work on the field shall start before the end of this year,” Brajović said.

“I visited China in 2003, 2006 and 2011 and I was the witness of immense progress Chinese constructors are making at home and abroad, so I am convinced that they can overcome any professional problem, and deliver final product within TEM (Trans European Motorway) standards,” he said.

According to the Montenegrin government, the CCCC and the CRBC proposed to build the section of the highway in 48 months at a price of 809 million euros (about 1.067 billion U.S. dollars).

Brajović said that it is by far the hardest and most valuable section of the whole highway project, as more than half of the 41 km section will be tunnels and bridges.

“For this reason it would mean much more than just a highway, as we will make secure one of the most dangerous parts of the road through Moraca river gorge, enhance economic progress along the road, but most of all, help to integrate the north and south of Montenegro,” Brajović said.”

The original announcement as published on the Montenegrin government website is as follows:

“Podgorica, Montenegro (4 July 2013) – At today’s Cabinet session, the Government of Montenegro selected the Chinese companies CCCC International (China Communications Construction Company) and the CRBC (China Road and Bridge Corporation) as best bidders for the construction of the Bar-Boljare highway, that is its priority section Smokovac-Uvče-Mateševo. The negotiations are to be continued with the aim of concluding final agreements regarding the project design, construction and financing, Transport Minister Ivan Brajović told the press conference following the Cabinet meeting. He added that the offered price for the construction of the priority part of Montenegro’s greatest infrastructural project is EUR 809.577.356,14.

Minister Brajović noted that the priority section is planned to be funded through the Chinese EXIM Bank’s preferential loan, which includes a 20-year repayment period, a five-year grace period, and 2% of fixed interest rate. The loan should be provided within a loan line for countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe in the amount of $ 10 billion, announced by China’s ex-Prime Minister Wen Jiabao at the Warsaw’s conference in April 2011. The final legal and contractual arrangements will be submitted to the Parliament of Montenegro for decision making.

According to Minister Brajović, the construction of the Bar-Boljare highway will ensure more balanced development of all parts of Montenegro, better exploitation of natural resources, more rapid development of tourism, better and safer transport and overall economic development of the country.

During the last six months, the Government of Montenegro negotiated the construction of the priority section of the highway with a number of high-profile companies, namely the Turkish DOGUS-GUSLAN consortium, American-Turkish consortium Bechtel-Enka and Chinese CCCC and the CRBC. The key criteria in choosing the partner for this project were financial sustainability of the offer with regard to Montenegro’s budget, time-frame for carrying out the project, partner’s references, engagement of Montenegro’s construction industry, equipment, materials and workforce and the application of European TEM standards, Transport Minister Ivan Brajović concluded.”

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