Bridge between Banjul and Barra
Model: Design, Build, Finance, Maintain and Operate (DBFMO) contract and variants / BOT / BTO
The government considering a Build-Operate-Transfer contract for the construction of a bridge between Banjul and Barra across the Gambia river. The private sector has expressed interest, but the economic and financial feasibility needs to be further investigated.
A BOT contract is being considered for the realisation of a bridge between Banjul and Barra to replace the unreliable ferry service. The construction costs are estimated at USD 500 million, and cannot be financed by the public budget. A few banks have expressed interest in financing the bridge, but no feasibility studies have yet been undertaken.
A BOT contract is a commonly used arrangement for the realisation of bridges. Compared to conventional procurement it offers several advantages: use of private financing instead of scarce public funds, optimization of life-cycle costs by the integration of design, construction and operations, stable maintenance practices in order to ensure that the infrastructure remains in good operational condition.
For PPP to be feasible, however, the technical and financial viability of the project must first be clearly demonstrated. The project is for several reasons challenging. The investments costs are five times larger than those of the Trans-Gambia Bridge, because the river is much wider at this point. These costs must be recovered from the users (toll) and/or the government (grants),taking in account affordability constraints as well as competition from the Trans-Gambia Bridge and the ferry services.
If the government decides to proceed with the project, the next steps are:
- formal notification of the project as a candidate PPP project;
- undertaking of a comprehensive feasibility study to demonstrate the technical and financial viability of the project