French firms eye Zim

Two French companies have expressed interest in investing in the country’s infrastructure after submitting their proposals last year.

Fidelity Mhlanga

Egis and Vinci Construction have submitted bids to rejuvenate the country’s Kariba Dam and the transport system respectively.

Egis’ Mozambique country manager Alexandra Ourdi told businessdigest this week that her company submitted the National Transport Master Plan in November last year to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development to rehabilitate the country’s roads, rail, air and inland water transport.

The country’s transport sub-sectors of road, rail and aviation continue to be constrained by capitalisation challenges. As a result, low capacity utilisation levels in the sub-sectors will translate into a projected minimal decline of -1% in 2015.

Ourdi said the company intends to link Zimbabwe with ports of Mozambique to channel goods to most global export markets.

“In November 2014, Egis submitted to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development a proposal for the National Transport Master Plan (roads, rail, air and inland water transport). The tenders are currently under evaluation as per the procurement policy of the funding agency which is the African Development Bank,” she said.

Egis is an international group offering engineering, project structuring and operation services.

Its engineering and consulting business covers transport (roads, railways, port, bridges), urban development, building, industry, water, environment and energy.

National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) is teetering on the brink of collapse and seeks over US$500 million to recapitalise.

In roads and airports, Egis offer is enlarged to encompass project development, equity investment, turnkey systems delivery, and operation and maintenance services.

With 12 000 employees, of whom 7 500 are in engineering, and a turnover of €881 million in 2013, the group is present in over 100 countries and has around 50 offices in France.

Egis is a 75%-25% owned subsidiary of the French “Caisse des Dépôts” and “Iosis Partenaires” (“partner” executive and employee shareholding).

Vinci construction representative for Southern Africa Gwilym Owen said his company has been prequalified to rehabilitate the Kariba Dam, adding the company has the expertise required to execute the job.

“We do hydro power treatment of water dams and water reservoirs of water, and we have been prequalified for the Kariba repair project . We have very keen interests in the project that need high expertise. We are dedicated to specialise in civil works .We want the Government of Zimbabwe to give us the green light to revitalise these assets,” Owen said.

Kariba Dam wall requires major rehabilitation which includes repairs to the spillway and plunge pool.

As part of a lineage of 100-year-old companies whose names are associated with impressive achievements worldwide, Vinci Construction Grands Projets possess end-to-end expertise in the creation and realisation of complex civil engineering and multi-disciplinary infrastructures.

Throughout the world, Vinci Construction designs and builds major structures including tunnels, bridges, dams, liquefied natural gas storage tanks, roads and railways together with buildings (skyscrapers, shopping centres, hotels, major industrial facilities and nuclear power plants.

Medef International special representative Henri de Villeneuve said he had come to meet business people and link them with foreign investors.

The French delegation held a series of meetings this week with President Robert Mugabe as well as prominent business people and government officials to boost local investments as the country seeks to raise its economic fortunes which are in dire straits.