BOT becoming popular mode of road construction in Pakistan

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By Mashkoor Naqvi

ISLAMABAD, Dec 11 (APP): National Highway Authority (NHA) has
been focusing on Build Operate Transfer (BOT) projects to involve
private sector in highway building projects as the present government
wants to upgrade road infrastructure in the next five to seven years.
It is worth mentioning that in the modern concept of
infrastructure development, Public Private Partnership (PPP) has
become popular mode of road construction in Pakistan. BOT is a project
financing and operating model or structure wherein a private entity
receives a concession from the private or public sector to finance,
design, construct, and operate a facility stated in the concession
contract which varies from 20 to 30 years.
“The government wants to double the road density till 2025 and achieving this mammoth development goal can only be done with
the support of private sector”,Chairman NHA told APP.
He further said that publicprivate partnership is becoming an essential component of NHA development strategy. The objectives set by NHA, he said, included development,off budget financing,efficiency,investment, sustainability and revenues generation.
Re carpeting and renovation work of Islamabad Lahore Motorway
(M2) completed recently is one of the big achievements of NHA on BOT
basis.
He went on to say that the project cost Rs30.935 billion, which
included renovation of toll plazas,weigh stations, workshops, as well.
Renovation and overlay work on the M 2 had started in January last year by MORE (FWO, the build operate transfer (BOT) concessionaire of the project.M 2 was handed over to FWO on December 15, 2014 for operation and maintenance for the next 20 years.
Another major under construction BOT project of NHA is conversion of 136 km long Karachi Hyderabad Super Highway to a 6 lane Motorway (M 9). The road connects the port city with Hyderabad in interior Sindh. The project
would cost about Rs. 24 Billion. The work on the project started in March 16,2015 and it is expected to be completed by December 2017.
Among the upcoming BOT projects,construction work of 296 km
Hyderabad Sukkur Motorway is likely to start early next year subject
to receiving a workable proposal. The estimated cost of the project is over Rs 160 billion.
Expression of Interest (EOI) for the projrct were invited from interested parties to qualify potential bidders for inviting bids for the project in October and last date of submission of EOI was November 15.
The motorway project starting from Sukkur will touch Khairpur,
Nowshehro Feroze, Nawab Shah, Mitiari, Hala and Jamshoro and terminate at Hyderabad.
Work on 90 kilometre Sialkot Lahore Motorway has already started. The project to be executed under BOT would cost Rs 56 billion and would be completed in three years. The proposed motorway project would help link remote areas with big cities and reduce the distance between Sialkot and Lahore.
Starting from Sahowala Sambrial,the motorway will end at Kala
Shah Kaku via Daska, Gujranwala and Kamonki.
Moreover the NHA plans to undertake the upgradation and dualization of Multan Muzaffargarh D.G. Khan Section of Multan Qilla Saifullah Highway (N 70) on BOT basis.
The NHA invited bids for undertaking upgradation and dualization
of Multan Muzaffargarh D.G. Khan Section of N 70 and a Concession
Agreement has been finalized.
The Concession Agreement has been signed, the construction work shall be commenced after achievement of financial close by the concessionaire. The project construction period will be 24 months from achievement of financial close.
Similarly 80 km 2 lane section of Multan Muzaffargarh D.G. Khan portion of N 70 is being converted into 4 Lane divided facility through BOT.
Construction of a bridge at Ghazi Ghat is also part of the project. Its concession is at negotiation stage.
About 111 kilometre four lane Pindi Bhattian Faisalabad Motorway
(M 3) and Faisalabad Gojra Section of Faisalabad Multan Motorway (M 4)
would also be converted into a 6 lane Motorways and overlay on existing 4 lanes would also be done.Land and 6 lane structures of the project are already available.
Among NHA’s other upcoming BOT projects includes 32 km existing
2 lane Tarnol Fatehjang section of Rawalpindi Kohat Highway which
would be converted into a 4 lane, divided highway and the project is
at preparation stage.The project of Construction of Two Service Areas
on Faisalabad Gojra Section of M 4 is at preparation stage.
In view of steep gradient of Karachi Quetta highway N 25 at Lakpass, FWO subsidiary Ibex undertook work on 180 metre long Tunnel
with 5 Kms long approach road basis which commenced in June 2006 and was completed in September 2008. The Concession period of the project is 20 years.
Lakpass Tunnel became the first major NHA project undertaken on
build,operate and transfer (BOT) basis in Balochistan in 2006 and it
has been operational since 2008. Before Lakpass Tunnel, however 10 service areas were built on the Islamabad Lahore Motorway on BOT basis for a 15 year concession period which expired recently, he concluded.