SPB tackles solar tender irregularities

via SPB tackles solar tender irregularities | The Herald August 14, 2015 by Golden Sibanda

The State Procurement Board has directed short-listed bidders to submit a price breakdown of the estimated $570 million Zimbabwe Power Company solar tender, to deal with irregularities that have delayed the project.

The price breakdowns will form part of the final evaluation criterion, the basis on which the winners for power generation capacity ramp initiatives will be chosen.

This follows irregularities that characterised initial tender submissions where bidders included cost prices in instances where only technical details of the tender were required.

A source privy to details said the bidders have now been given new forms to fill in the break downs of prices for every technical aspect of the tender prior to final evaluation.

The short-listed bidders for the $570 million solar projects are ZTE Corporation, Number 17 Metallurgical China, Intratrek Zimbabwe and China Jiangxi for International Corporation.

The solar projects, with combined output capacity of 300 megawatts, will be situated in Bulawayo, Gwanda and Munyati, all of which are strategic locations due to the abundant sunshine.

While four made it to the list of the final contenders, official documents show that ZPC had recommended China Jiangxi, Intratrek and Number 17 Metallurgical China. In its technical evaluation report the procurer, Zimbabwe Power Corporation, had stated that bidders should include a bill of quantities, but excluding the price details of the project.

Some of the companies should have been disqualified after allegedly including prices on aspects of the technical specifications of the tender in violation of laid out rules against this.

But the affected companies argued that they had not received documents clearly spelling out that they were not supposed to include price quotations in technical submissions.

ZTE Corporation included in its request for proposal forms of tender with prices for Lot 1 (Insukamini), Lot 3 (Munyati) while China Jiangxi included prices for Lot 1 and 3 as well.

Afriven Investments, another of the original six bidders included prices for Lot 2 (Gwanda) in its funding envelope.

The industry source said the SPB had inexplicably railroaded one of them to the short listing of the successful bids, which would each have been automatic winners for the three projects.

“The bidders have been given forms and told to provide separate price breakdown for each specification (transmission network, solar plant and delivery duty,” the source said.

The score card performance from cost price quotations will be evaluated together with the score obtained in terms of technical details of the tender bids already submitted.

However, the source said, all the bidding companies will be expected to provide clearing price break downs of the original proposals for each technical aspect of the tender. The three projects are expected to help meet Government targets for power generation, including tapping into renewable sources of energy, as espoused in the Zim-Asset.

Zimbabwe is currently able to generate an average of 1 200MW, against peak period demand for power of 2 200MW, a position which is negatively affecting economic recovery.