By Vision Reporter
China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) has beaten two other Chinese companies to the lucrative multi-billion tender to construct the second phase of the long awaited Pension Towers.
CCECC who tendered to construct the intelligent building at sh222.3b, beat China National Aero-Technology International Engineering Corporation (CATIC) and Sino-Hydro Corporation.
According to an evaluated bidder notice pinned on the NSSF noticeboard, the other two firms failed on various aspects of work methods and proposed staff qualifications. For example, CATIC proposed to use grade 25 reinforced concrete instead of the required grade 35 reinforced concrete.
Sino-Hydro Corporation on the other, hand failed on work method. They proposed to do curtain walling before the completion of the main concrete frame, on which the curtain walling sits.
The firm also proposed to fix electrical installation after completion of structural works yet the two are to be done concurrently.
A total of 20 companies from Uganda, Kenya, Switzerland, South Africa and China picked the bids, but only 17 responded and three Chinese companies were picked.
Roko Construction which built the first phase, did not make the cut.
Construction of the first phase of the Pension Towers which involved construction of four basement levels and some elements of ground and mezzanine floors, started in April 2008 and was completed in January 2012, This phase cost sh42.5b.
The second phase consists of construction of three towers. The first and second towers will each have 10 storeys while the third tower will have 25 storeys, making Pension Towers the tallest building in Kampala.
The building which has been redesigned twice, will cost sh264.8b, making it the most expensive and biggest building.
“The current redesign will enable us to optimally utilise the land and earn a good return for contributors. We anticipate an annual return of 15%,” Byarugaba told journalists during the unveiling of the new design, mid this year.
Pension Towers is one of the projects under the Fund’s Real Estate Investments portfolio. Other real estate projects in the pipeline include a 5000 unit affordable residential housing estate in Temangalo and a 3,000 unit estate for high income earners in Lubowa.
Impact on commercial rent
Experts have billed the project as a game changer in the sky-rocketing commercial rent charges, which are attributed to years of unstable investments into modern commercial real estate development.
During a tour of the project last year William Henry Ssentoogo, a Senior Partner with Ssentoogo & Partners said that lack of modern and affordable office spaces is one of the reasons why Kenya, continues to out-compete Uganda as a regional business hub.
“You have no idea by how much the Ugandan economy would benefit from hosting some of these huge multinationals. However, we can bring down significantly our rental costs as we address the supply gap. We need to see organisations and if need be, government, injecting money into huge commercial and rental projects such as Pension Towers,” he said.