Pakistan Railways seek tender for $6.8 billion ML - 1 Project

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Pakistan Railways seek tender for $6.8 billion ML - 1 Project

The Pakistan Railways (PR) will soon be opening bids to tender for the completion of the country’s first and biggest transport sector project —Main Line-1 (ML-1) costing $6.8 billion.

Invitation bids are expected to be made public from September 12 as bidding documents have been finalised.

The n project titled “Up-gradation of ML-1” has been divided into three separate packages —Nawabshah to Rohri / Sukkar, Multan to Lahore & Walton Academy and Lahore to Lalamusa & Kaluwal to Pindora sections.

The Railways Ministry will seek expression of interest for up-gradation of the aforementioned packages of the ML-1 in EPC (Engineering, Procurement & Construction) mode from eligible Chinese firms on the basis. Details on the financing arrangements are still unclear. The invitation for bids simply says the “project will be funded under CPEC financing arrangement through a loan from Chinese Financial Institutions and partly funded by Government of Pakistan.”

“Under the framework agreement signed between the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, only Chinese companies/consortia are eligible to participate in the bidding process, the invitation reads. The PR has also set a deadline of October 22 for submission of bids for the project.

The ML-I project was approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) in its meeting in the first week of last month. Under a proposal, the federal government plans to contribute 10 per cent of the total cost of the project as its equity while 90pc cost will be met by China under the CPEC.