Power and Energy Minister Mahinda Amaraweera today sought a report on the controversial tender given to a Chinese consortium to construct the Kerawalapitiya 300MWs LNG power plant. He instructed Ministry Secretary, Ms. Wasantha Perera, to submit a report on the issue in two weeks.
A crucial meeting to take a final decision on the matter is scheduled to be held on Thursday.
Chinese consortium GCL China WindForce and RenewGen got approval for the proposed power plant thus bypassing LTL whose bid was the lowest. Eight bidders out of 39 investors were short-listed in April 2017 by the Power and Renewable Energy Ministry while Consortium of Samsung C and T, Komipo and GS Energy, The Consortium of Sojitz Corporation, CGNPC International Ltd., Consortium of Gel, WindForce, RenewGen, Korea Southern Power Co. Ltd., Lakdhanavi Ltd., Hyflux Ltd. and Consortium of Summit Power International Pte. Ltd. were selected as possible investors for the project and short-listed as bidders.
Later, WindForce and RenewGen were selected as investors in spite of LTL’s unit price being Rs.14.98 and the unit price of Chinese company GCL being Rs.15.97. During the bidding time, the US Dollar stood at Rs.150 against the rupee and the rate has now risen to Rs.180 and price difference soared to Rs.1.21. LTL’s total project estimate was $175 million and the second-lowest bidder’s estimated $299 million.
Kerawalapitiya LNG power plant was proposed as a solution for a possible power crisis during 2019 and 2020. Perhaps to make amendments to offering the tender to the Chinese company, the government decided to award another contract to LTL to set up a new 300MW LNG plant.
“I want to go to the bottom of the tender offered to construct the Kerawalapitiya power plant as there have been a few grey areas in the tender procedure. I will take a final decision on the matter shortly as the construction of the power plant with an installed capacity of 300MWs is extremely vital to prevent a possible power crisis in the next few years,” Minister Amaraweera said. (Sandun A. Jayasekera)