Costa Rica: Questions Over The Chinese Company That Will Build Highway

The Costa Rican government has signed a $395 million loan conditional on the award of a contract to a construction company that has been blacklisted by the World Bank.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) will expand the stretch of 107 kilometers on the road to Limón, despite questions having been asked in four countries regarding fraud and bribery.

The opposition MP Manrique Oviedo said that China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), the parent company, is on the World Bank's list of ineligible companies until 2017 because of fraudulent practices in the Philippines, among other questions.

In recent years the company has been linked to cases of apparent fraud, bribery, breach of contract and environmental damage in the Philippines, Bangladesh, Jamaica and Mexico.

"Every company in the world have been challenged in one way or another. It is not for us to judge and we will not find the perfect company. A tied loan is never questioned when the recommendation comes from a transport minister," said the Minister of Public Works and Transport, Pedro Castro.

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More on this topic

Costa Rica: $485 million for Controversial Road Works

February 2015

Without having read the contract with the construction company and ignoring final costs, the Legislature has approved the loan with the Chinese government to finance the extension of the road to Limón.

The loan with the government of China for $485 million is tied to a commercial contract with the Chinese state-run construction company CHEC, highly questioned not only technically but at the legal level, since it is one of the companies "... included in the list of companies ineligible for dealing with the World Bank until 2017 because of fraudulent practices in the Philippines ".

Controversial Chinese Projects in Costa Rica

July 2014

The extension of the road to Limon and the construction of a refinery in Moin, both to be funded by the Chinese government, will be renegotiated by the Solis administration.

Two major projects in infrastructure which began under the Chinchilla administration are now being analyzed by the government of Solis, due to the criticism against the conditions imposed by the Chinese government for the provision of the $395 million for the expansion of the road from San Jose to Limon.

Costa Rica: Deadline to Sign $395 million Chinese Loan Extended

June 2014

China Harbour Engineering Company has accepted a request by the Solis administration to extend the signing a loan to be used for the extension of the road going from San José to the Caribbean.

It is the fifth time there has been a postponement of the signing of the loan agreement for the extension of 105 kilometers of Route 32, which connects the capital with the Port of Limón, in the Caribbean, but the first in the administration of President Luis Guillermo Solis.

Overpricing of Road Works in Costa Rica

February 2014

An opposition deputy claims that the financial offer made by China to widen the road to the Caribbean is overpriced by $165 million.

Manrique Oviedo, from the Citizen Action Party complained that the financial proposal for the extension of Route 32 is overpriced by $165 million relative to what it would actually takes to carry out the enlargement.

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