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ADB blacklists three Chinese firms from Nepal’s key infrastructure projects; Kathmandu airport extension to be impacted

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has blacklisted three Chinese state-owned firms from participating in its key infrastructure projects, including the Kathmandu airport development project, in Nepal

Dec 21, 2021
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ADB blacklists three Chinese firms from Nepal’s key infrastructure projects

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has blacklisted three Chinese state-owned firms from participating in its key infrastructure projects, including the Kathmandu airport development project, in Nepal. The ban will not impact ongoing projects executed by the firms. 

The ban from the Manila-based multinational lender came after it observed violations of integrity rules. The banned firms are China CMC engineering Company, Northwest Civil Aviation Airport Construction Group, and China Harbour Engineering Company. 

Two of the three banned firms—China CMC Engineering Company and a joint venture of Northwest Civil Aviation Airport Construction Group and China Harbour Engineering Company—were in the race to bag the government’s ambitious project to develop the capital’s Tribhuvan International Airport, reported The Kathmandu Post. 

China CMC Engineering Company, which is already banned from ADB’s projects in Pakistan, is currently involved in the development of Nepal’s Pokhara International Airport financed by China’s Exim Bank. However, the firm will be on the blacklist till April 2022. 

China Harbour Engineering Works—also banned by the Bangladesh government in 2017 for attempting to bribe one of its top officials—will remain on the ADB’s blacklist until 2023. 

Northwest Civil Aviation Airport Construction Group, currently working on Nepal’s Bhairahawa international airport, has been put on an open-ended sanctions list, which means no sanction release date has been mentioned, The Kathmandu Times reported, citing an unnamed top Nepali official. 

The firm is accused of submitting fraudulent documents in 2015 to get the airport contract. 

The ban, Nepali officials believe, would further delay Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport extension, which the government believes is important for the development of the tourism economy. 

Furthermore, since the last decade, Chinese firms took part in several major and key infrastructure projects in Nepal as Kathmandu expanded its ties with China in recent years. However, reports suggested contracts of many of these projects were negotiated poorly, mainly due to the lack of technical expertise on the Nepali side. 

(SAM) 

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