P5 billion mega water projects awarded across 10 entities during SoE


Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) has awarded 20 mega water projects in excess of P5 billion across 10 entities during the State of Public Emergency (SoE), Mmegi can reveal.

Despite wild allegations that Khato Civils had been the dominant beneficiary of mega water projects tenders during the State of Emergency after bagging two widely publicised mega water projects tenders, the Masama 100km (P781, 555, 356. 90) and the Mmamashia Water Treatment Plant (P875,  923, 178. 85), Mmegi can reveal that in fact the most dominant mega water tenders player is little known, media shy, China state-owned entity, China State Construction and Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) (Pty) Ltd, which has bagged three mega water tenders  of a combined value of P2 billion.

These are the P1, 046, 640, 122. 49 Lobatse Water Master Plan package for construction of pump station at Forest Hill reservoir site,  as well as Gaborone to Lobatse pipeline, and a reservoir installment at Lobatse.

The Chinese contractor also bagged the P905, 792, 275,52 tender award for the North South Water Carrier 2.3, specifically for the construction of a new pump station and its associated appurtenances at Mmamashia Water Treatment Works for pumping treated water to Forest Hill Reservoir, as well as interconnecting pipe work and site works and telemetry.

The third mega water project by CSCEC during this period is the Gumare water scheme, which involves pumping water from the lagoons at P36, 831, 931. 63.

The quoted values do not factor in contingencies costs, which can go as high as 15%, and are budgeted for by the client.

The other multi-national, Magara Building Construction also scored two mega water projects during the same period, and just like CSCEC, also without fanfare and media spotlight.

Magara Building Construction’s tender awards during the same period are package 2 of the Lobatse Water supply master plan- P362, 828,482.08, construction of pump station at Motswedi & Southern Reservoirs in Lobatse, construction of eastern ring main, refurbishment and upgrading of Nywane Pump station and distribution network reinforcement.

Magara Building Construction joint venture also won the tender for the North South Water Carrier 2.3-Mmamashia Gaborone pipeline, P252 835 352,85, Mmegi can reveal.

Other mega water projects tender winners during the SoE period include China Petroleum-Zhengtai-Mentro Joint Venture (P792, 078, 477. 53), CPP/Modern UTS JV (74, 660, 410. 38) for Water Treatment Plant in Ramotswa. China Geo/Asphalt Botswana Joint Venture (P291, 447, 953. 97) for design and construction of a pipeline and associated works to supply the villages of Tswapong South (Sefhare cluster, Ramokgonami cluster, Pilikwe cluster, Ngwapa and Mokobeng villages.

A Chinese entity, Unik construction bagged the P257, 330, 695 tender for  the 52 villages  North East and Tutume sub districts water supply scheme, funded by the World Bank. The scheme involves upgrade and remedial of treatment works and pumps at Masingwaneng, construction of a break pressure tank and pump station at Kalakamati, construction of booster pump station at Moroka, construction of reservoir at Mbalambi, upgrades on electrical and Mechanical Components, telemetry and electrical components upgrade, pipelines and Elevated tanks at different locations in the scheme.


Other tenders awarded during the period included  consultancies for tender documents design, supervision, and management for the Mmamashia Gaborone Pipeline (NSC 2.3), for P39, 813, 636. 81, awarded to Bothakga Burrow Botswana, and the environmental impact assessment consultancy for P10, 938,047. 07, awarded to Vome/Core JV.

While the 20-mega tender awards reported above represent the quantum awarded during the SoE, they were not the only mega projects being financed and running during the said period.

Mmegi has established that some 10 more mega projects with combined value of P2, 272, 541, 600. 43 continued to be implemented during the SoE, with five of the combined value of P2, 002, 661, 982. 46, still fresh from 2019 awards.

Of the 2019 projects continuing into the SoE period, only the P179, 927, 920. 48 rehabilitation of Glen Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant and Sewer Network, undertaken by Beijing Enterprises Water Group (BEWG), was the most advanced at 96% by December 2020, and four percent behind schedule. It was specifically implemented as an emergency project.

Other active projects included the Mahalapye treatment plant expansion (279, 926, 495. 43), by CSCEC, which stood at 61% by December 2020, and is due for completion this year.

Palapye treatment plant expansion, by Steffanutti Stocks Hei nsite Construction Joint Venture, was also active at 64% by December 2020, ahead of its December 2021 deadline, while Magara and Zhong Gan Joint Venture’s P303, 869,  371. 08 Water Treatment Plant in Kasane was at six percent by December 2020, with the project expected to be completed next year, December 2022. The projects involve drawing water from the Zambezi River to Kasane and surrounding areas.

Unik Construction joint venture which clinched the Moshupa sanitation project (P893, 465,899.05), previously awarded to China Jiangsu was still at three percent by December 2020, with the project targeted for completion in 2023.

The Moshupa project involves development of waterborne sewerage system to serve all the existing and future development areas within Moshupa with production of recyclable effluent.

Elsewhere, the Masama 100km sweet water pipeline project and its associated infrastructure such as water chambers, scours, construction of water tank, as well as manufacturing and delivery of pipes from a South African manufacturing plant, is progressing according to schedule and stands at 86 percent and is due for completion in April this year.

Over and above the mega water projects indicated above, WUC continued with the implementation of water supply projects for 20 villages across the country funded from WUC’s own coffers.

They include the P9 million Gakutlo water infrastructure projects which is a design and construction of a sump collector tank, transmission main, distribution tank and upgrading of booster pumps at Gakuto village.

The progress was only 30% by December 2020, ahead of the April 2021 deadline.

Mmathethe pipeline project which started in 2017 was still active at 68% and three months behind schedule by December 2020.

The Water Utilities also continued to embark on the Boteti water infrastructure, targeting Letlhakane, Mmadikola, while Mmatshumu’s Water Treatment Plant works which started in January 2020, were behind schedule by 51% by December, with Letlhakane and Mmadikola water works nearing completion at 85%.

There was considerable progress at five water supply projects commenced in January 2020 for Moiyabana, Paje and Tshimoyapula as they were at 85% progress by December, the deadline for completion.

However a project involving the design and construction of a booster Pump station at Serowe Hotel Storage Site, as well as about 6km Long Transmission Pipeline and Associated Works from Serowe Hotel Storage Tanks to Mannathoko Storage Tank and a 200m3 Galvanised Steel (GS) Tanks on a 15m stand at Mannathoko Storage Tank Site was 64% behind schedule. The construction of tanks for Kunyere and Shorobe villages in the Maun area was finally completed in December after missing the March 2020 target for completion, while Mohembo West tank construction project that started in February 2020 was progressing steadily after missing the July 2020 target for completion.

In the Molepolole area, the villages of Mogonono and Hatsalatladi are being connected from a borehole infrastructure with a 15 km pipeline and associated works. The project was started in earnest in January 2020 for completion in October but  the contractor was 62% behind schedule.

The Mahupu Unified school pipeline water supply project from Maboane boreholes which began in 2018 was also still at 14% by December last year.

In Kasane, the Mabele and Kavimba villages water supply works were progressing well at 80% in December.

Editor's Comment
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