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COWI wins project in One Belt One Road

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COWI is the chosen consultant to approve the design and construction on the Karnaphuli Tunnel in Bangladesh. The tunnel is part of the One Belt One Road initiative - the world's largest and most extensive infrastructure investment connecting China with Europe and Africa.

22.05.2017

The Karnaphuli Tunnel is a 3,4 km long and complex tunnel under the Karnaphuli river created as a part of a 20 km highway. The aim is to improve the infrastructure in Bangladesh enabling growth and development in the region known for extensive textile production.

The approx. $530 million project is primarily financed by the Chinese through Export-Import Bank of China under the One Belt One Road initiative.

"COWI, together with local consultancies, has been chosen to review and approve the design and ensure that all construction and design meets the standards as described in the project. Having us and the Australian partner SMEC is a condition for the investment and our job is to ensure the right quality in the construction," says Bo Bendtsen, Vice President in COWI Tunnels and Underground Infrastructure.

Connectivity is key

The One Belt One Road initiative (OBOR) aims to revive the old Silk Road via a trade and infrastructure network spanning from East Asia to Europe and Africa with roads, railways, ports, pipelines and everything in between in a region with a huge need for improving the infrastructure. $900 billon are planned for investments in the initiative over the next ten years.​​

OBOR was introduced in 2013 by the Chinese leader Xi Jinping and last week more than 1500 delegates, 29 heads of state and industry leaders from more than 130 countries met at the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing to discuss the project and hear about the plans going forward.

As an international consultant, COWI was invited to share its knowledge and experience with large infrastructure projects in the region and represented by Tina Vejrum, Vice President Bridges International, and Bo Bendtsen, Vice President Tunnels and Underground Infrastructure.

"Connectivity is key in OBOR and this is spot on COWI's core competencies and services. ​The Forum was an excellent opportunity to meet with business partners, exchange information on the OBOR initiative and identify areas for further collaboration," says Tina Vejrum.

"We are consultants on one of the first projects in the OBOR and look forward to hopefully sign up for many more. There will be a huge demand for suppliers within bridge, tunnel and marine projects, where we have a lot of experience," she adds.

Experienced consultant along the Silk Road

COWI already has extensive experience working in countries along the Silk Road. This includes being responsible for design of ​the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau link, expected completion this year, and the ongoing ShenZhong Link in China as well as being involved in all major suspension bridges in Turkey, most recently the detailed design of Izmit Bay Crossing, which opened to traffic in 2016.

FACTS

​The Karnaphuli Tunnel

  • 3.4 km multilane tunnel
  • The 500 metres of tunnel approach structures and working shaft structures will start in June and run through to February 2018.
  • Work on access roads and viaduct will commence in early 2018 and run to 2021.

COWI is the Independent Checker of the design.

Two major tasks:

  • Design Review
  • Construction Supervision Consultant

Facts – One Belt, One Road (OBOR)

  • Belt and Road Initiative also known as One Belt One Road, or OBOR, is a revival of the iconic land and maritime Silk Road via a trade and infrastructure network spanning East Asia to Western Europe and South through Africa. It consists of roads, railways, ports, pipelines and everything in between across a region with a $26 trillion infrastructure deficit, according to some estimates.
  • OBOR emphasises the idea of connectivity. Connectivity is not just the economic, financial and legal integration; it also regards interrelationships between cultures, and the connections that bind communities together.
  • $900 billon are planned for investments in the initiative over the next ten years. In 2015, China transferred $82 billion to the three state-owned banks for OBOR projects.

Source: TIME, Wikipedia.

LAST UPDATED: 23.05.2017