Construction of the Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS)’s new office complex in Blantyre is expected to be completed by August 31, MBS Public Relations Officer Monica Khombe has said.
The construction is under the Standardisation, Quality Assurance, Accreditation and Metrology (SQAM) project, which was introduced to improve and increase the country’s exports by reducing the cost of doing business.
This could be done through reducing the need for re-testing, re-inspection, re-certification abroad through acceptance of measurements, tests, and conformity assessment results issued in Malawi.
Construction of the office, financed by the government with support from the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme and budgeted at K18.3 billion, was expected to be completed in 2018.
In January this year, Minister of Trade and Industry Mark Katsonga Phiri told journalists that the office would be ready by August.
However, with barely a week to go, MBS employees are yet to move to the premises.
But in an interview, Khombe said contractors are finalising the works.
“The project completion date remains 31st August, 2022. What is happening now is that the contractor [Terrastone Construction Limited] is finalising the works. We are preparing to start relocating to the new premises,” she said.
She, however, said construction of a laboratory within the complex has faced some delays.
“Donors already procured through SQAM Project which ended in 2018. The agreement with the development partners was that they should handle capacity building issues like training of staff and procurement of laboratory equipment among others, and that Malawi Government should fund the construction of the new laboratory and office complex. Finalisation of the construction [of the laboratory] has been delayed, however,” she said.