Exclusive: Strong interest for Dhaka's $400m Bypass

Having launched a dedicated programme in 2010, Bangladesh currently has more than 40 PPP projects in the pipeline.

More than 10 international developers and investors are keen to participate in Bangladesh's Joydevpur-Debogram-Bhulta-Madanpur (Dhaka Bypass) public-private partnership (PPP) project, according to a top executive at the country's PPP Authority.  

Syed Afsor H. Uddin, the agency's chief executive, told Infrastructure Investor that both local developers and constructors and investors from the US, China, Korea, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand had expressed interest in backing the project. These had all attended a pre-application meeting for the bidding last month, he added. 

The Dhaka Bypass is a key arterial route connecting the northern and north-eastern part of the country to the southern and eastern regions. Around 14,000 vehicles use the road everyday, according to 2014 data. This figure is expected to double over the next 20 years due to rapid population growth in the city.  

The project calls for the expansion of the existing 48-kilometre, two-lane road into a four-lane motorway. Due to cost between $300 million and $400 million, it aims to ease traffic in the capital and make it cheaper to use the N105 National Highway.  

The wining concessionaire will be responsible for designing, financing, constructing, operating and maintaining the highway for 25 years.  

The deadline to submit qualification documents, originally set for 25 November, has been extended to 23 December following requests from interested bidders.  

Uddin said that international investors will not be required to partner with local companies. “The PPP Law, which was passed in parliament in September, aims to provide a streamlined framework and protection to all parties. It enables the PPP programme to run independently.” 

The government established the programme in 2010 in a bid to boost infrastructure development and turn Bangladesh into a middle-income nation by 2021. 

The country currently has a pipeline of more than 40 PPP, 15 of which are transportation projects.