As is well known, due to the spread of the deadly virus COVID-19, declared by the World Health Organization a pandemic, to protect life and health of citizens, the State of Emergency has been introduced in the Republic of Kazakhstan requiring necessary measures and temporary restrictions to reduce the likelihood of the virus spread among the population. Restrictions have been imposed on the operation of large facilities-places of mass gatherings, public transport, entry into the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and many others.
Such measures and requirements have necessarily affected the road construction companies operating in various oblasts of the country under investment IFIs-financed projects of the republican roads reconstruction.
While, the most of the construction sites with production bases and camps are located at a considerable distance from the main population centers, they cannot be considered isolated from the main COVID-19 outbreak hot zones. Since many project specialists, both temporary and permanently based, live in cities and towns near construction sites, their commuting has also been restricted.
Thus, at present, all project specialists, based in the cities and towns, observe the quarantine requirements and remain in home isolation. For those workers and specialists, who stay in the construction camp during this period, all necessary measures are taken and activities are carried out, including regular and complete disinfection of residential, work and office premises; provision of workers with medical masks; reminding about simple measures but effective in the fight against viruses, such as regular hand washing, avoiding crowding and any physical contact when meeting, wearing a medical mask, maintaining distance when communicating, correct sneezing and coughing, i.e. into a tissue or the crease of own elbow in order not to jeopardize or scare other people, regular air ventilation of the premises, etc.
As known in the road-construction field, the end of February-March are the months when construction season starts and the main staff and specialists return to the sites after the winter to continue construction at full pace. However, in the current situation, the main construction works are being carried out, but with much less progress than required. In addition, it is most likely that soon construction will be completely suspended for an indefinite period. The suspension of works, in turn, will affect the time of construction completion. In this case, clause 19. “Force Majeure” of the General Conditions of the Construction Contract, which is used to regulate relations between the Parties in the implementation of investment road construction projects, financed by the International Financial Institutions, comes into force. In accordance with this clause, the Parties are not responsible for their inability to execute their Contracts due to events and circumstances beyond the control of the Parties.
Therefore, investment roads projects in Kazakhstan will be duly extended for the required period, while force majeure will in no way affect the payment obligations of the Parties under the Contract in relation to each other.