MLIT implements Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) method in own project for first time
The Daily Engineering & Construction News website reports that the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) will implement the ECI method for the first time in one of its own projects. Experiments with ECI have already been taking place in Japan at an experimental basis, but not on nationally managed projects. The ECI method where the contractor is involved from the initial design stage up to the actual construction is scheduled to be apply for a tunnel construction project in the area struck by a powerful earthquake earlier this year. The decision to use ECI is in part motivated by the governments desire to realise speedy reconstruction of the area. In construction tenders in Japan it is common, that design and construction are contracted separately, extending the period of time from actual inception to completion of a public works project. The WTO tender uses a technological proposal and negotiation method to decide the winning contractor.
Foreign companies, thus far have been largely absent in the Japanese construction sector, due to tight regulation barring outsiders. As a whole the sector is often seen as uncompetitive and is struggling with issues such as a lack of personnel and rapid aging of its workers.