Kerawalapitiya Power Plant Lone bidder disqualified

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By 2017-08-13

By Niranjala Ariyawansha

The lone bidder selected by the Standard Cabinet-Appointed Procurement Committee (SCAPC) for the construction of 300 MW LNG power plant in Kerawalapitiya was disqualified at the financial bids opening that took place on Friday.

It was done in front of other unsuccessful bidders. But it was found that the selected company has not submitted a written and signed financial bid but only a soft copy in aflash drive. Without filling the prices in the specified sheets and signature with the seal, the bid is not considered as valid. On the request of the bidder the bid opening committee had tried to open the soft copy but failed due to a technical issue.

The Engineers' Union of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEBEU) claims that certain elements are trying to cancel this tender process and to get their business mafia to supply electricity during the upcoming power crisis.

"We consider this a planned attempt to disturb the competitive bidding process. About 9-12 months are required for a re-tender. It will ultimately delay the construction of the LNG plant.

In such a backdrop, to remedy the power crisis that is expected in 2019, we will have to either impose power cuts or to purchase emergency power at a high rate," former President of CEBEU Athula Wanniarachchi told Ceylon Today.

The Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) recommended six bidders from the total of eight but SCAPC ignored it and decided to take only one bidder for the financial biddings.

When this move was exposed by the media, Minister of Power and Renewable Energy Ranjith Siyambalapitiya temporarily suspended it.

In this backdrop, Wanniarachchi suggests the tender procedure be taken forward by way of giving the opportunity for the rest of the five bidders who were selected by the TEC to move to financial bidding.

When we inquired about this, Minister Siyambalapitiya said that a complete report had been called from the Secretary of the Ministry Dr. Suren Batagoda.

"I will not allow any malpractice take place in terms of this tender. This is very complicated. Many elements are trying to push forward their unsolicited proposals. But I will not allow anything illegal," the Minister emphasized.

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