Karuma financial bids to open
Posted Monday, January 21 2013 at 02:45
Power project. Reports show that China International Water and Electric Corporation and the Perlite Construction Company will be evaluated first.
The Ministry of Energy is due to evaluate the financial bids of two of the six companies that bid to construct the Shs5.9 trillion Karuma Dam, industry sources have said.
The dam, whose 600MW is a key factor in the country’s energy security plans, is almost a year behind schedule after intense lobbying by politically-connected factions delayed the bidding process.
Results of the re-evaluation of bids to the effect that only China International Water and Electric Corporation (CWE) and the Perlite Construction Company Ltd had made it to the financial evaluation stage, were reportedly communicated on Friday.
The bid validity period is due to expire on January 24.
The State Minister for Energy, Eng. Simon D’Ujanga, told the Daily Monitor yesterday that he was neither involved in the evaluation nor was he in town last week.
Ms Irene Muloni, the Minister for Energy, also said she was not aware of the development and had been out of office attending the ruling NRM party retreat in Kyankwanzi.
The other companies that bid are China Gezhouba Group, Salini Constructtori, Sinohydro & CMC Karuma JVC and Vinci Construction Grands, Orascom Industries and Group Five International Consortium.
The companies have an option of applying to the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) within 10 days for administrative review.
Through a November 21 letter, the PPDA executive director, Ms Cornelia Kakooza Sabiiti, advised the firms to seek an administrative review if the evaluation process did not satisfy them.
The High Court in November stopped the process after some of the bidding companies complained that the team evaluating the bids had been compromised to favour one of the companies.
Though construction is yet to begin, once complete, the publicly-funded Karuma project is projected to add 600 megawatts to the national electricity grid, and, therefore, help to ensure lower tariffs.
The commissioning of the 250MW Bujagali Dam in October has relieved the energy crisis the country was facing and replaced the more expensive thermal power with hydro electricity.
However, the delay with Karuma is likely to cause supply shortages and a return to more expensive thermal power and higher tariffs for users.