By Brook Abdu Fortune Staff Writer

TACON completed the airport as well as the fence while turning a mere three million Br profit for a year’s work.

Tekleberhan Ambaye Construction Plc (TACON) has completed the construction of its first out-of-country contract of Berbera International Airport terminal and 12Km perimeter fence at a cost of 80 million Birr in Somaliland gaining a profit of only three million Br.

The construction, which began a year ago, was finalized in a joint venture between the Ethiopian construction company, TACON, and a Somaliland construction company known as Afro-sino constracting & Investment Company.

Tekleberhan, which has more than twenty years of experience in the construction sector, is a Grade 1 contractor. It has done the construction projects of Jimma University, Mekele University, Oromia Region president’s office, Gambella Region Technical and Vocational Training College, and now the civil works of the Yayu fertilizer factory, which is the first in the country located in the Oromia region Illubabor Zone.

The contract was awarded to the Ethiopian company in 2012 and the construction took one year, which had lagged back because of construction materials supply shortage in the area and the lack of trained human resource in the vicinity, explained Habtamu Mengiste (Eng.), TACON’s deputy CEO of engineering and construction, on a phone interview with Fortune.

“This is our first project out of Ethiopia and it has given us a lesson on how to handle projects with other countries’ companies,” he said.

The company, which won the tender for 83 million Br, completed the construction of the terminal and the fence, spending 80 million Br for the whole construction.

The terminal has different facilities within it. Checkpoints for baggage, security checks, public address equipment, communication equipment, baggage transfer, scales that can measure up to 200Kg, water tanker, and asphalt road to the runway.

There were a total of five companies that were in the bid with TACON for the construction. The first is another company from Ethiopia called Akir Construction Plc while the rest are foreign companies. The design of the project was done by two companies from India and Kuwait called International Consultants Technocrats and Marco construction.

Berbera airport's 12Km perimeter fence
Berbera airport’s 12Km perimeter fence

The terminal that was built rests on a 3,200sqm land while the length of the fence constructed was 12Km. The Berbera airport has a 4.1Km runway. The runway was built by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) in the mid-1970s in order to counter the United States’ military presence in the region.

“The major challenges of the construction were the temperature in the area, which gets harsher in the period between June and September and the absence of human resource in the country, forcing us to take people from Ethiopia,” Habtamu said. “We were also working during the night because of the temperature.”

TACON gets its name from its founder and General Manager, Tekleberhan Ambaye (ENG.).

In addition to the Berbera airport, there are other additional airports in Somaliland at Hargessa and Baroma, the latter being an international airport.

Somaliland’s Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) offered the contract for the construction. The inauguration of the terminal was officially attended by Somaliland’s President, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Siilaanyo and officials from Ethiopia, Djibouti and Yemen, according to media sources in Somaliland.

– Addis Fortune