News: Corps of Engineers announces upcoming contracts
Story by Karla Marshall
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan —The Afghanistan Engineer District-South announced today that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has 52 construction and service contracts, worth a total of almost $712 million, to award in southern Afghanistan before the end of fiscal year 2012.
Many of the contracts will be for Afghan National Security Force facilities, but “there are six or seven water and infrastructure projects valued at up to $150 million still to be awarded this fiscal year,” said Linda Murphy, the South District’s water and infrastructure branch chief.
The four largest water and infrastructure projects scheduled for award are water projects at Kajaki and Dahla dams and electric power distribution systems for Helmand and Kandahar provinces, Murphy said.
In addition to the big water and electric infrastructure projects, Murphy’s branch is also looking forward to starting work on smaller-scale projects like the Kandahar University Law Library, highway paving and Kandahar International Airport improvements, she said.
Afghan National Police projects consist primarily of district headquarters compounds and border police stations.
“If we award all 21 anticipated projects, we will be overseeing an additional $235 million worth of construction,” said Fred Schelby the ANP branch chief.
The first austere standard construction contract is set for award in August said Schelby.The austere standard is the culmination of many months of coordination with end users and battle space owners.
“The South District is positioned to move forward on the construction of the more austere facilities,” he said. “They will require fewer materials, take less time to construct, and ultimately cost less money.”
Schelby, an Albuquerque, N.M., native, also said that the upcoming ANP construction contracts are scheduled for completion by the end of 2014.
The nine Afghan National Army contracts still up for award will total about $70 million. “The ANA branch is fully engaged, and will aggressively use our project delivery teams and the project management business process to deliver these projects on schedule,” said Steve Sullivan, the ANA branch chief who is deployed from the USACE Jacksonville District. “I’ve got a great team of project managers; a lot of continuity.”
In addition to the major program contracts, the South District also has several operations and maintenance contracts to award. Those projects total about $130 million, said Caryl Hickel, the district’s business management chief. “The big programs obviously will consume the greater amount of time, money and effort, but the small O&M and facility maintenance contracts are important for the health and safety of our employees and the Afghans who use some of the buildings the district has constructed,” she said.
The acquisition methods for these contracts will fall into in one of three categories:
• Invitation for Bids – These are full-design packages, which the district will award to the lowest-priced bid from a responsive bidder. A responsive bidder is one who complied with every requirement of the solicitation;
• Full & Open/Low Price Technically Acceptable – The district will issue a request for proposal, review bids for technical acceptability, and award the contract to the lowest-price, technically-acceptable proposal; and
• 886 Limited Competition – These contracts are for projects that will cost less than $7.8 million; contractors must be on the existing “Afghan First” bidders list to bid on this work.
“We still have a lot of work ahead of us,” said Air Force Col. Benjamin Wham, the district commander. “The projects range in size and scope from very large to quite small. The district encourages all qualified contractors to bid on these contracts.”
Editor’s note: Contractors interested in bidding on the upcoming construction contracts should visit the South District’s website at http://www.aed.usace.army.mil/AES/contracting.asp and the www.fbo.gov website for specific details of upcoming contracts.