Nov 27, 2016 News
–ministry has become a cesspool
Opposition leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, has described the nine-month delay to award a multi-billion project
for smart meters and new power lines as unacceptable.
The former President on Thursday, during a press conference, also urged that the Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL) be placed under the scrutiny of the recently established Public Procurement Commission (PPC) to ensure that all contracts are above board.
“Under (Minister David) Patterson, that Ministry (of Public Infrastructure) has become a cesspool and that is putting it mildly…There are several (instances)… it is unacceptable.”
The Opposition believed that the reason for the delay is that the evaluators are attempting to go through several “iterations” of the bidding process as they don’t like a particular company.
Jagdeo was speaking about growing concerns and questions about a major GPL project for US$18M that is being funded by the Inter-American Development Bank and the European Union.
The project is for the procurement and installation of over 25,000 smart meters on the coastlands along with the running of new low and medium voltage transmission lines.
The tenders were opened in February but GPL and the ministry have both been silent on the award with officials only saying that they are being evaluated.
A number of local and overseas companies have tendered for that major project.
GPL has been under intense scrutiny for this particular contract but the state-owned company has kept largely quiet, saying it is being “evaluated”.
GPL’s Chairman, Robert Badal, had said that award would have been made by the end of October. He has since been silent on the issue.
Five companies tendered for the project- Sino Hydro Corporation (China)- $7.1B; Multi Electrical System N.V. (Suriname)- $6.4B; China National Machinery Import and Export (CMC)/China Sinogy Electric Engineering Co. Limited – $4.6B; Cummings Electrical Limited- $3.67B and Enrique Lourido/Fixit Depot- $3.5B.
There have been many questions about the delays of the award of the project with a number of letter writers raising questions about the secrecy and the time it is taking to evaluate.
Sophie Makonnen, Country head of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) which is part-funding the project, has made it clear that evaluation is at the GPL side.
The project would be one of the biggest to be embarked on this year. It is part of a US$65M initiative known as the Power Utility Upgrade Programme (PUUP). The monies are coming from IDB which is contributing
over US$37M in loans and financing from the European Union for US$27M –mainly grants.
The implementation of all the projects is being overlooked by the IDB.
The amounts were reportedly approved since 2014, under the Donald Ramotar administration. PUUP was in the making for a number of years and is designed to reduce GPL’s inefficiency and increase training for staffers.
Already, the first phase of the project has been implemented – the building of seven sub-stations and new high voltage lines along the coastlands, from Crabwood Creek, Corentyne, Berbice to West Coast Demerara.
It included, also, the laying of submarine fibre optic cable lines in the Demerara and Berbice rivers to create an interconnected system.
GPL is now using the same CMC to repair the cable it laid and is expected to spend over $120M.
The damaged cable has badly affected GPL’s capacity to bring excess power from the West Demerara area which in turn has affected consumers.
A part of the CMC-built transmission lines, in the city, is also now facing severe problems with outages increasing a few weeks ago.
GPL is facing major problems with technical and commercial losses at a massive 29 percent.
GPL wants to reduce its losses to 23.8 percent in the near term.
Oct 28, 2021Kaieteur News – Gary Ragnauth hit an attractive 64 to spur Caribbean Sports Club to comfortable 30-run win over Sunrisers last Sunday at Cullen Beach where action continued in the inaugural...
Kaieteur News -I thought that David Granger was strategising by not announcing his candidacy then doing it at the last moment.... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – It is nothing short of shocking to learn that, despite the fact that the world... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]