IMED halts awarding of contract for coal supply

DailySun || Shining BD

Published: 6/13/2024 5:34:17 AM

The Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) of the Planning Ministry has directed the Coal Power Generation Company Bangladesh Ltd (CPGCBL) not to issue any notification of award in the tender process for coal supply for the Matarbari Coal-fired Power Plant.

It made the directives in a letter sent to the state-owned coal management company, which is implementing the project, on Tuesday.

“As an appeal is pending from the review panel constituted by the government as per the Public Procurement Rules-2008, it is requested to refrain from issuing any notification of award while the appeal is pending,” reads the letter signed by Mirza Ashfaqur Rahman, director at the Bangladesh Public Procurement Authority.

An international consortium participating in the tender process lodged a complaint with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on 6 June, questioning the transparency of the procurement process. It also applied to the IMED seeking a review of the tender process.

In April, the IMED sent a letter to the Power Division’s senior secretary, stating that the standards were not maintained in the tender process to import coal for the Matarbari Power Plant project.

In the letter addressing the principal secretary at the PMO, the consortium mentioned that all the financial proposals of the four consortiums participating in the tender were rejected without proper evaluation.

Pointing out the irregularities and biased behaviour in the selection process of the ongoing tender, the letter further stated that in order to reinstate a rejected financial proposal, some officers and board members concerned colluded with a particular company.

The authorities held a meeting to negotiate with that company on 5 June, which violates the existing laws and regulations of the country, and it is completely unethical and illegal, according to the letter.

According to the project sources, the commercial production of the second unit of the 1,200 MW power plant at Moheshkhali in Cox’s Bazar is scheduled to start this month.

The experimental power generation of the second unit of the plant built with Japan’s financial assistance started on 24 December last year.

The commercial production of the first unit started on 26 May this year.

According to the sources at the companies that participated in the tender, four domestic and foreign organisations submitted proposals following the proper procedure, but three organisations were initially excluded on the pretext of lack of financial capacity.

Later, a technical committee meeting on 27 May rejected the financial proposals of all four consortia. According to the decision of the board meeting of CPGCBL held on 31 May, considering the national importance of the current situation, approval was given to reconsider Unique Cement Consortium’s proposal which was rejected earlier.

However, one of the three consortiums that got their bids rejected due to the arbitrariness of the project officials applied to the senior secretary of the Power Division on 29 May for re-evaluation of the tender. However, the company has not yet received any reply.

The initial conditions of the tender required that the contractor company must have experience of importing at least 12 million tonnes of coal, which is a relevant condition for tenders related to importing coal.

But that condition was relaxed for giving an unfair advantage to a particular company. To favour the venture, the condition was changed to an experience of importing 12 tonnes of iron, fertiliser and chemical, cement or food grains

Shining BD