Five local firms, among them Scangroup’s subsidiary Hill and Knowlton, are part of a consortium that has secured a Sh2.1 billion contract to oversee construction of Konza Techno City.
The consortium, comprising of 11 firms led by US contractor Tetra Tech, Monday signed a four-year contract with the government and is expected to lay infrastructure such as power, roads and sewerage on the 400 acres reserved for the city in addition to negotiating lease agreements.
The other local firms included in the consortium are Scion Real Estate, Kounkuey Designs Initiatives, HP-Gauff Ingenieure, and Strategia Advisors represented by Ms Christine Ng’ang’a.
The local firms will join other six firms drawn from the US, Germany, the Netherlands and the UAE.
“We have five Kenyan firms that are part of the consortium, with Scangroup’s Hill and Knowlton being in charge of the Konza project communications,” said the Konza Technopolis Development Authority KoTDA.
The Business Daily could not establish how much the Hill and Knowlton contract is worth.
The KoTDA chairman John Ngumi, however, said the Sh2.1 billion total payment for the 11 consultants will be staggered over four years.
HP-Gauff, which will provide engineering expertise, has operations in more than 20 African countries with permanent branch offices in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Ethiopia.
Scion Real Estate is an investment firm focused on urban development in Africa and was founded by Laila Macharia in 2006. The firm also provides investment solutions for institutional investors and multinationals expanding into and within Africa.
In 2013, the company was appointed fund manager for the Africa Metro Property Fund. The open-ended Africa Metro Property Fund provides risk capital and bridging finance to builders in Africa’s urban areas.
“We have remained consistent in our commitment to deliver on this project which the President is very particular about, we the ICT ministry commend Tetra Tech for their patience, energy and commitment and assure them support as they come on board,” said ICT secretary Fred Matiang’i during the contract signing.
Tetra Tech is expected to identify and structure financing options for the techno city.
Mr Ngumi said phase one is expected to attract at least 7,500 knowledge workers and 16,700 other workers.
“The benefits of building this city far outweigh the inherent risks and perceived challenges. Many of these (jobs) will target at youth who are the main drivers of the knowledge and digital economy,” said Mr Ngumi.
Konza technopolis will from this month start laying road and electricity networks after receiving an additional Sh400 million from Parliament, pushing its total allocation to Sh900 million.
The project is being executed through public-private partnerships where the government provides land and builds key infrastructure such as road, railway, water, telecoms and sewerage systems as well as security.
Investors will be offered leases for a period of 30 years for land at the Konza technopolis as opposed to 99 years.
The consortium will conduct due diligence on investors to be awarded stakes in the technopolis. It beat five bidders for the Konza consultancy work in June last year.