Kyrgyzstan has been getting loans and grants for the restoration of the main transport corridors for more than 20 years. One of the main contractors is China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC). The company's name is well known for some time not because of the implemented projects, but because of the scandals.
Recall, CRBC has provided an expensive offroader to the former Minister of Transport and Roads. 24.kg news agency decided to find out more about this generous company and its work.
The dog barks, but the caravan moves on
The road network of the country is in crisis that is a serious obstacle to its social and economic development. In order to retain and improve the regional road corridors, which provide virtually the only access of Kyrgyzstan to regional markets of goods, services and communication between the main economic centers in the country, the government has not only developed a strategy for road sector development, but also taken a number of measures to address the accumulated in the sector problems.
Chinese State Corporation with limited liability for the construction of roads and bridges (CRBC) actively participates in the implementation of these tasks. It was approved by the Committee for Supervision and State Property Management under the State Council of China in 1958. It is currently one of the four largest foreign trade enterprises in China.
CRBC is a general contractor in the domestic and international projects on the construction of roads, bridges, tunnels, airports and ports, on conducting research and design, providing advisory and supervisory services.
The company pays attention to new technologies that have been used in the construction of the Tajikistan - Uzbekistan highway, reconstruction of China-Pakistan highway in Karakorum, the expansion of Moorish friendship port, Zemun-Borca bridge in Serbia.
In the early 2000s, the corporation has become one of the top 500 companies in the world. It employs more than 30,000 people, it created 15 subsidiaries and 50 overseas offices in Asia, Europe, Africa and South America.
Branches all over the world help the corporation to win tenders for multibillion-dollar projects. Only in 2013, CRBC has signed commercial contracts of $ 7 billion.
From city streets to highways
Company's office in Kyrgyzstan was opened in 2002. Most of the road projects are implemented by CRBC. Only since 2013, it has carried out 18 projects in the field of transport and communications for $ 2.9 billion in the country.
China Road and Bridge Corporation is involved in rehabilitation of:
- Bishkek - Osh road;
- China - Kyrgyzstan - Uzbekistan transport corridor;
- Bishkek - Naryn - Torugart road.
Urban Transport project is implemented in Bishkek with the support of the World Bank. The total length of the repaired roads was 63 km. The Asian Development Bank has allocated money for the rehabilitation of 54 kilometers of roads in Osh.
The PRC government has allocated a grant of 60 million yuan for the construction of the first section of China - Kyrgyzstan - Uzbekistan road on the territory of Kyrgyzstan with the length of 17.74 kilometers.
The European Commission is funding the construction of Osh - Isfana road, bypassing Tajik enclaves in Batken region.
The Chinese company has completed the rehabilitation of the southern transport corridor Osh - Sarytash - Irkeshtam under "return of investment resources" scheme.
In addition to these projects, CRBC at its own expense has prepared a feasibility study for the construction of China - Kyrgyzstan - Uzbekistan railway.
Loans, grants, debts...
- ADB has allocated $ 44 million in grant, $ 83 million - in loan for the construction of Bishkek - Naryn - Torugart road. Export-Import Bank of China provided a loan of $ 200 million, the Credit Guarantee Agency - $ 72.3 million.
- Rehabilitation of Osh - Batken - Isfana road is also financed by EIBC by providing a loan of $91.4 million. The European Commission provided a grant of 6.3 million euro for the construction of road, the World Bank - $ 41 million, the European Community - a grant of 8.6 million euro, EBRD - $ 35 million.
- Reconstruction of Bishkek - Osh road (phase IV) has not yet begun. The tender commission still can not choose a contractor. But funding is already open. ADB has provided $ 65 million in the form of a loan and a grant of $ 35 million, EDB - $ 60 million, the government of the Kyrgyz Republic - $ 34.8 million.
- The construction of alternative North - South road is financed by the Export-Import Bank of China which allocated a loan of $ 698 million.
This is only a small part of the largest projects, which involves the Chinese corporation. The most important, of course, is the alternative North - South route. There will be created an additional continuous motor transportation route between the north and south of the country, which will be geographically separated from the existing Bishkek - Osh road by the mountain ranges. This route will run in a large distance from the state border with the neighboring countries, which is important for the security of the country.
Moreover, there will also be provided an access to mineral deposits and development of land and farmland in Toguz- Toroo, Ak-Talaa, Jumgal, Kochkor areas, that represents a great interest for the local people and investors, who are interested in the processing of agricultural products.
Junction of the road with the roads of Kazakhstan and Russia in the north of the country and with Tajikistan - in the south, will create a transit route through Russia - Kazakhstan - Kyrgyzstan - Tajikistan bypassing Uzbekistan, which is of particular relevance after Kyrgyzstan's accession to EEU.
Through route will allow the Kyrgyz Republic to get out of traffic deadlock, retaining economic independence, and implementing commitments in the framework of CIS, CSTO and EEU. In 2014, the Ministry of Transport has already started the implementation of Phase I.
According to the Ministry of Transport, since 1996, there have been already implemented 40 projects on the construction of roads for $ 2.4 billion. China Road and Bridge Corporation carries out or has already completed work on 16 projects for more than $ 1.3 billion.
For fairness' sake, we note that all the roads in Kyrgyzstan are built at the expense of the credit funds, and the projects are closely monitored by international donors, which, in its turn, ensures compliance with international building regulations and standards. However, after completion, the roads are transferred to the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transport. Local road departments are engaged in their servicing. As a result of this service, many roads again require major repairs or reconstruction after 10-15 years. Maybe officials should think about this? Moreover, the same donors offer ready programs, but no one is eager to implement them.