One of the 13 sites, this one in Meganegna, that house 38,000 middle-income housing units awaiting the installation of elevators.

A four-year long elevator procurement saga came to an end after the Chinese firm, Xizi Elevator Co. Ltd, was awarded the 347 million Br contract.

Xizi Elevator will supply 338 electric traction elevators in seven lots for housing units under the middle-income housing schemes of the city administration of Addis Abeba.

The elevators will be installed in seven-storey to 18-storey buildings, which have been under construction since 2013.

The winner was notified of the contract last Tuesday, February 5,2019, after bidding against seven other companies over the last eight months.

The bid was canceled twice. The first round failed as no company was technically qualified to bid, while a dispute between the local company, Dan Lift Technology, and the city Housing Development Enterprice over the procedure led to the cancellation of the second bid.

The latest bid was floated on June 16, 2018, and opened on August 8, the same year. Out of 48 companies who purchased tender documents, five foreign and six local companies, including Dan Lift Technology, Racrob Business, Sintec Ethiopia, Tsemex Global Enterprise, Impression General Trading and Kebede Gebremichael Electromechanical participated in the bid. The foreign companies included Xizi, Hiwing Mechanical & Electrical Technology Corporation, CCCC Ltd, Hengda Fuji Elevator Ltd Co. and ITECH International.

During the financial opening held in December 2018, Xizi made the lowest offer for all lots,  138 million Br below the second lowest bidders, Impression General Trading ans Sintec Ethiopia Plc.

The initial tender for the procurement of the elevators was announced in March 2015 by the Addis Abeba Saving & Houses Development Enterprise. It was initially canceled after the three local companies that took part in the bidding process, Dan Lift Technologies, Syntec Ethiopia and Yobek Electrical Enterprises, failed to pass the technical evaluation.

The Enterprise refloated the bid in June 2017 under five lots that attracted a total of 12 local and overseas suppliers. Four companies passed the technical evaluation, while Dan Lift failed to meet the technical requirements of the project.

Disappointed with the result, Dan Lift Technology filed a complaint stating that it was kicked out from the process without reasonable cause. Dan submitted the grievance to the Enterprise, the Office of the Prime Minister, the City Administration and Federal Anti-Corruption Commission.

The Addis Abeba City Finance & Economic Development Bureau resolved the case by cancelling the bid and switching the mandate of handling the bidding process to the city procurement agency rather than the Enterprise. Since August 2017, the Enterprice has delivered 17 buildings housing 876 units in the Senga Tera and Crown sites and is currently constructing 38,000 units in 13 other sites.

In the third attempt by the City Procurement Agency, the Chinese company, which previously lost a contract for the supply of 302 elevators for the lower income housing scheme by offering prices deemed lower than the production cost of the elevators, won the contract to supply the elevators.

Notifying the winning company took two months, according to Bikila Gelana, procurements and contracts division deputy CEO at the Agency.

"Due to the reshuffling of board members of the Agency, the decision was delayed,” said Bikila.

Getaneh Terefe, a consultant with more than three decades of experience in civil engineering, believes that stalled tender processes are one of the drawbacks in the construction sector that must be dealt with seriously.

“Delayed tender processing will bring price escalation, quality compromise and client dissatisfaction,” said Getaneh.

Since a lift shaft is constructed starting with the foundation, it must be well-thought out and the procurement of the lift, given the utmost care with the designer, suppliers and builders planning it beforehand, according to Getaneh.

The contracted company will deliver and install the elevators within four months from the signing of the contract, according to Bikila.

PUBLISHED ON Feb 09,2019 [ VOL 19 , NO 980]

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