, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 1 – The government is in less than two weeks time expected to announce the winner of the Lamu coal project tender.
The 960 Megawatts coal project is now remaining with three final bidders out of 10 investors who are all working in consortiums headed by Gulf Energy, HCIG Energy Investment Company and Shanghai Electric Power Company.
Speaking during the project status forum in Nairobi on Monday, Energy Principal Secretary Eng Joseph Njoroge maintained that the ministry had followed the right due process up to the current stage and will be announcing the investor to develop the coal power plant to avoid any delay.
“I think when it comes to the announcement of the winner of the bidding process, it will be a communication between the bidder and the contracting authority; even those who do not win will also be communicated to. We are going to finish this process as soon as possible,” Njoroge said.
Local listed investment firm Centum is one of the associates in the Gulf Energy grouping. Others are Sichuan Electric Power Design and Consulting Company, Sichuan No.3 Electric Power Construction Company and CHD Power Plant Operation Company.
On the other hand, Shanghai Electric Company has partnered with Avic International and Cistenique in seeking the tender, while HCIG Energy Investments Company is working with Liketh Investments Company.
But even as Kenyans awaits the announcement of the winner, Shanghai Electric Company and HCIG Investments continue to raise concerns of what they term as unfair evaluation among the three bidders.
“I thought in the end all we wanted is to see that Kenyans get cheap power. But as I see here, that is not the case because I don’t understand why one would charge more and win this tender. You have just funny excuses in siding with our competitor,” lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi said, representing Shanghai Electric.
But the Chairman of the Evaluation Team Eng Simon Ngure maintained that his team had done everything according to the law accusing the two firms of having their own hitches that may have brought about challenges in the final computation.
“The problem is that they introduced in our formula, a second number. We had only two parameters; one is on the fuel price and the other one is specific fuel consumption. And to get the fuel charge they gave us, they introduced a third number. It was not acceptable that they would introduce some number,” Ngure said, “Essentially what that number is doing is to change the specific fuel consumption.”
The forum organised by the Energy Ministry is not part of the requirement in the Public Private Partnership Act (PPPA) and according to Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir was only meant for clarity.
“One thing for sure is, one of you must win this bid and I would like to urge all of you to challenge this process if indeed it is necessary. The truth is, you must not agree with us and that is why we have this forum and we are ready to listen. But as we stand we have done our best,” Chirchir said after heavy exchange of words between the represented parties.
The 960 Megawatts coal project is part of the 5000 Megawatts power projects set by the Jubilee government expected to be complete in three and a half years time.