Major controversy over tender award for construction of powerplant at Kerawalapitiya

Major controversy over tender award for construction of powerplant at Kerawalapitiya

Written by Staff Writer

20 Feb, 2019 | 9:58 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st) – Another controversy has arisen surrounding the proposed 300 MW powerplant to be constructed in Kerawalapitiya.

The tenders were called for diesel or fossil fuel combined cycle power plant which can be converted into an LNG plant.

With several controversies, Lakdhanavi a company with a majority shareholding by Lanka Transformers Limited and a company called Wind Force had been selected for the final round of the tender process.

With several committees being appointed and after several appeals were filed, a decision was made to grant the contract to the Wind Force Company.

It was embroiled in controversy again when a court case was filed regarding the tender.

Minister Ravi Karunanayake had presented a cabinet paper and obtained approval to let both these companies construct two 300MW power plants.

A group of employees of the Lanka Transformers Limited convened a media briefing today(February 20) and stated that the decision to award the contract to the Wind Force company and to allow Lakdhanavi to construct a second power plant was wrong.

Sameera Ganegoda, Chairman to Staff Union of LTL noted that plans are in motion to disrupt Lakdhanavi stop receiving the tender. He argued that this was done by changing the tender conditions. He stressed the secretary of the ministry is at the centre of it. He noted that when the tender was submitted, according to the law, VAT and NBT were not to be charged but now its changed by a letter obtained from the Finance Ministry.

He also noted that the Ministry has made a statement that Lakdhanavi will also receive a contract for a power plant yet it is clearly indicated that the tender will be awarded to the Chinese company.

“But based on the power act in the country, based on the law, and our experience of over twenty years, we know that a project cannot be awarded in this manner” Sameera Ganegoda concluded.

When Dr. Suren Batagoda, secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy was reached over the phone he shared his opinion on the matter.

He noted that during the tender process there were two opinions circulating at the technical evaluation committee. He said that the committee believed both Wind Force and LTL, Lakdhanavi were strong contenders. He noted that after considering all the opinions of the appeal committee, the cabinet of ministers and the national procurement commission minister came up with the current proposal.

He noted that the secretary did not take this decision and it was based on discussions at the cabinet committee on economic management, the finance ministry, the cabinet, Tender Appeals Board, The National Procurement Commission and the technical evaluation committee.

He added that the secretary is accused in this matter as it is the least strong body involved in the incident.

He noted that with all the turmoil raised against this incident they would not be able to construct any of the power plants on time.

“At least the power plant that is to be constructed in 2021 will be completed on time.” He concluded.

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