Written by Staff Writer
21 Feb, 2019 | 10:46 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st) – The controversial 300MW power plant project at Kerawalapitiya was discussed at a press briefing convened at the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy today (February 21).
Minister Ravi Karunanayake, Secretary to the Ministry Suren Batagoda, and representatives of the companies selected for the construction of the power plant namely, Lanka Transformers and Wind Force were present at the event.
During the press briefing, there was a debate between the representatives of Lanka transformers and the secretary to the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy.
CEO of the Lanka Transformers Pvt Limited opened the debate saying that they possess evidence to show that the Secretary of the Ministry (Suren Batagoda) was extremely generous to the company named TCL China during the tender process.
In response, Batagoda commented that the CEO’s statement on the technical assessment committee twice rejecting the tender by the company named Wind Force and then recommending that it be awarded to Lakdanavi was incorrect. He continued to say that the 13 member committee had twice disqualified the tender of Lakdanavi and rejected it but that the tender from Wind Force had never been rejected thereby Wind Force was recommended.
Batagoda said that the opinion of the procurement committee was sought and the committee had said that the cabinet can make a decision on this matter. He added that since the issue had been dragging for over two and a half years and because there was no power plant constructed for the past ten years that the minister stepped in and awarded the contract to both companies so that the task can be completed fast.
Then the CEO Dhammika Nanayakkara responded saying that nothing was awarded to them without calling a tender first and that whenever the CEB had asked them to do a project as a favour that they had immediately done that. He then questioned the secretary Suren Batagoda saying that this is an international bidding tender in this country and that there are two guidelines to be followed in this type of a tender. One is 2006 procurement guideline the other one is the 1998 procurement guideline and asked Batagoda which procurement guideline he followed?
Batagoda replied saying that they had made use of both guidelines. Nanayakkara claimed that for this particular project that only one guideline can be used adding that if the 2006 evaluation is used, then the VAT cannot be used for evaluation purposes. Batagoda responded saying that LTL had written to the treasury saying that VAT is not due for the project. Batagoda added that the duty of the secretary is not to award the tenders to LTL.
Then the deputy CEO of the Lanka Transformers Pvt Ltd Ravindra Pitigala said that the tender that was awarded is illegal under the electricity act and that they cannot do it.
Batagoda replied that they were the very people who had recommended to give the contract to both companies. He said that although it is wrong and a disqualification for any tender applicant to influence the tender process. The award of this tender was delayed for two and a half years because of the intervention by LTL.
Deputy CEO of Lanka Transformers said that Batagoda had spoken to them inside his room and made a proposal on October 31st, 2018 and requested LTL to withdraw their bid, promising 30% of shares in the project, the O and M agreement and the EPC contract in return.
Meanwhile the Minister had this to say: As this company (Lanka Transformers) is owned by CEB, we presented a method to the cabinet to implement the project fast, within this same tender. We did not hide this fact. The cabinet agreed that this was a good proposal. Though a lower price was offered it was necessary to get the permission of the attorney general. This was transparent and the attorney general said that this was beneficial to the country. So what is the barrier? The cabinet was informed. The company that is to receive the tender claims that this is illegal, but I don’t agree with that comment. We look at it where if this is awarded with the consent of the government and the attorney general and it can be constructed, it will be of immense benefit to the country.
12 Apr, 2018 | 10:51 PM
18 Aug, 2017 | 09:36 PM
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