Kerawalapitiya LNG Plant Appeals Board will consider bid revisions

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By 2017-08-10

By Niranjala Ariyawansha

Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy Dr. Suren Batagoda said yesterday that, it has been decided by SCAPC (Standard Cabinet Appointed Procurement Committee) to open the financial biddings of only one company in relation to the 300MW Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) Power Plant scheduled to be constructed at Kerawalapitiya, which has created much controversy.

However, he emphasized that the SCAPC decision is not the final decision and the remaining seven bidders can present themselves at an Appeal Board against it.

He made these comments in response to an inquiry we made as to whether a decision has been made to open the financial biddings of only one company, in an illegal manner, by SCAPC without taking into consideration the recommendations of the Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC). Even prior to this, the SCAPC had decided to award this tender sans any competition, in an illegal manner to only one company. The Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers' Union (CEBEU) had expressed their strong opposition to that decision.

A fundamental rights petition filed in Court that this tender is illegal, is already being heard.

With media reports that were published that there was corruption behind awarding of the tender, the Minister of Power and Renewable Energy Ranjith Siyambalapitiya suspended the opening of financial biddings.

The Ministry Secretary, also in his capacity as a member of SCAPC, says that 8 tenders which passed commercial evaluations should be taken into consideration again and that he submitted observations to the Cabinet. However, deciding that they cannot intervene in a SCAPC decision, the Cabinet has once again assigned the task of making a decision to SCAPC itself, he added.

Dr. Batagoda said, "However, the thinking at SCAPC was that if the seven companies had not fulfilled the minimum functional specifications, that five of these companies be allowed to have the shortcomings in their tender applications to be remedied subject to negotiations. Accordingly, if only one company had fulfilled the minimum functional specifications, the tender has to be awarded to that particular company. Otherwise, 8 of the bidders should be allowed to rectify their shortcomings and the financial biddings of all eight should be opened."

He added that the disagreements between TEC and SCAPC will be solved by the Appeal Board.

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