Dec 07, 2016 News
-other bidders to lodge protests at IDB, Public Procurement Commission
After 10 months of questionable delays in the evaluation of tenders for a multi-billion-dollar power project, Cabinet yesterday reportedly granted its no-objection for a Chinese company that has been under fire for its performance.
However, news that the contractor, China National Machinery Import and Export (CMC) which is teaming up with China Sinogy Electric Engineering Co. Limited- has been green-lighted for $4.6B– some $1.1B over the engineer’s estimate- has angered other contractors who also tendered.
The contractors are now planning to lodge protests with the Inter-American Development Bank and the Public Procurement Commission. Among other things, they want the evaluation process to be investigated.
CMC was the same contractor that was involved in the building of seven sub-stations, running new high powered transmissions along the coastlands and laying of two submarine cables across the Demerara and Berbice Rivers. That project, commissioned last year February, is being criticized.
The Demerara River cable was badly damaged in July under unclear circumstances, leaving East Demerara and Berbice isolated and without extra power for several months now from the new power station at Vreed-en-Hoop, West Bank Demerara.
The Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL) shockingly turned back and engaged the same contractor, CMC, to repair that same cable which was badly laid in the first place, spending over $120M. Works are ongoing to repair that cable.
A consultant report had blazed CMC over the quality of work on the sub-stations and poor laying of the submarine cable in the Demerara River.
The awarding of the project was supposed to be one of the biggest to be embarked on this year by the state. 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 project which has been under evaluation for the past 10 months has raised several eyebrows from the public due to the lengthy time it took to evaluate and the secrecy that surrounded the project.
Many letter writers have commented on the delays.
Kaieteur News was contacted yesterday by one of the contractors and it was indicated that their company will protest the decisions to the Public Procurement Commission and the IDB’s independent mechanism, MICI (The Independent Consultation and Investigation Mechanism).
MICI is the independent accountability office of the IDB Group. MICI received complaints from communities in the region alleging that they have been harmed by projects financed by one of the group’s institutions as a result of non-compliance with one or more of its operational policies.
According to one contractor yesterday, when the facts come out, it will point to severe irregularities and even suggestions of corruption in the evaluation process. It involved officials of GPL and the Ministry of Public Infrastructure.
Both the Ministry of Public Infrastructure and GPL have been largely tight-lipped about the status of the project.
Opposition leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, recently said that delay was unacceptable.
”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 Leader believed that the reason for the delay was that the evaluators were attempting to go through several “iterations” of the bidding process as they don’t like a particular company.
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.
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.
The PUUP was in the making for a number of years and is designed to reduce GPL’s inefficiency and increase training for staffers.
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.
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