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HomeFeaturesNew terminal building construction at the BIA embroils in tender bender

New terminal building construction at the BIA embroils in tender bender

Another controversy has arisen regarding the selection of a Contractor for the construction of the New Terminal Building at the Bandaranaike International Airport, coming under the purview of Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva’s Ministry, namely the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Aviation

The tender for constructing a new terminal at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) is poised to be awarded to the Sri Lanka-China Joint Venture (JV) Company, a decision upheld by the Procurement Appeal Board (PAB).

This joint venture consists of Consulting Engineers and Contractors Ltd. (CEC) from Sri Lanka and the China National Aero-technology International Engineering Corporation (CAIEC). However, final approval hinges on the Cabinet’s decision and potentially the Court of Appeal’s ruling.

The call for bids, managed under the International Competitive Bidding category by the Standing Cabinet-Appointed Procurement Committee (SCAPC), was issued around 4 December 2023.

The project, initiated in December 2020 by Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd. (AASL) with funding from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), faced delays due to the economic crisis, pushing its expected completion date from 2023 to an unspecified future date.

The new terminal aims to enhance accessibility and incorporate environmentally friendly features. It includes a remote apron with 23 aircraft parking stands, Ground Support Equipment (GSE) roads, and three stub taxiways.

The terminal will feature 96 additional check-in counters, eight baggage claim belts, seven baggage make-up carousels, 16 contact boarding gates with 28 Passenger Boarding Bridges (PBBs), and six bus gates.

Initially, the Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) recommended awarding the contract to Sanken Construction Ltd., a local engineering firm, a recommendation accepted by the SCAPC.

Despite this, unsuccessful bidders appealed to the PAB, which subsequently recommended the CEC and CAIEC JV. Secretary K.D.S. Ruwanchandra of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Aviation confirmed this, stating the decision has been submitted to the Cabinet and awaits their response. He noted the pending court case could alter the outcome.

Sanken Construction Ltd. has contested the PAB’s decision through a Writ Application (No.343/2024) in the Court of Appeal.

They allege the PAB made its recommendation without granting them a hearing and despite the JV’s non-responsiveness to technical specifications, as detailed in the TEC report dated 15 March.

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Chairman G.S. Withanage, also Chairman of the PAB, emphasized the independence and transparency of the process but refrained from commenting further due to the ongoing court case.

Lanka News Web

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