The government has allowed the use of Chinese construction equipment and tools, as well as the employment of Chinese technicians, in the building of the Kinmen Bridge, but will still not allow Chinese construction firms to bid for the project, an official said yesterday.
Public Construction Commission Minister Chen Chen-chuan (陳振川) said that the permission was granted to facilitate the construction of the bridge.
The government has put the project out to tender three times, yet has failed to attract bidders for the project that will require the use of expensive equipment for marine piling work, he said.
Chen said that local construction companies do not have the necessary equipment because it is not cost effective to purchase and maintain the high-cost machinery when it is only occasionally used in Taiwan.
Chinese technicians who have the skills to use the equipment will be allowed to work on the project, he said.
The Kinmen Bridge project is not the first time the government has made an exception to enable the use of Chinese construction materials that are on the list of prohibited imports, Chen said.
Because of the high cost of transporting sand and gravel from Taiwan proper to the outlying island of Matsu, the government allows local construction companies to import sand and gravel from China, he added.
The relaxation of the rules regarding Chinese technicians and construction materials could be a new model of cooperation between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, Chen added.