Korean Multinational Corporation Daewoo Engineering and Construction has announced that has ceased its construction of the Kazungula Bridge on Monday due to lack of funds paid by the Zambian government.

In an internal memo issued by the company’s administration manager Hong Seouk Park, Saturday, Daewoo announced that they have closed the site on the Zambian side of the border owing to financial constraints that have prevented the firm from completing the construction of the bridge and approach ramps.

The construction of Kazungula Bridge and approach ramps constituted package 1 and was contract number: KBP/SP/002/2013.

“The assured amount by the Employer’s representative to offset the overdue amount by the assured date has not been fulfilled, and as such, Daewoo is still experiencing financial constraints and will not be able to continue this project until the foregoing constraint is resolved,” stated HongSeouk.

“In this regard, please be informed that the site will be closed from Monday the 18th of March, 2019, till further notice. Your consideration and understanding on the above matter is highly appreciated. Please take this as official notification.”

Kazungula Bridge had been designed to connect both Zambia and Botswana in the south-western part of the country, but Zambia has not paid it’s agreed contribution to the undertaking, Botswana authorities revealed last week.

Works on the actual bridge followed a ground-breaking ceremony in September, 2014.

In March 2018, President Edgar Lungu and his Botswana counterpart Ian Khama as well as Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa visited the site where they all renewed their commitments towards the undertaking.

South Korea’s Daewoo Engineering was awarded the constriction contract which was heavily contested and competed for among several other construction conglomerates, including South Africa’s Stefanutti Stock.

According to official Road Development Agency (RDA) tender bid documents for the project, three bidders including, Daewoo of South Korea, China Major of China and Shimizu Corporations/Stefanutti Stock of Japan and South Africa, respectively, bid for the construction of the bridge.

At the time, Daewoo had bid a total of US $160,622,718.00 to construct the project – the highest amount out of all three.