Kenya Power, local contractors tussle over Sh31b tenders

Tuesday, January 21st, 2020 00:00 |
Kenya Power staff working on a power line. Photo/Courtesy

 Kenya Power is locked in a legal battle with the Energy Sector Contractors Association (ESCA) over the award of tenders worth Sh31 billion.

This was after  ESCA  moved to the Public Procurement Oversight Authority demanding the nullification of the tenders claiming it discriminated against local firms. The oversight authority is scheduled to make a ruling today.

But KPLC insists the tenders were French Development Agency (AFD)-financed projects whose procurement was based on the financier’s procurement guidelines, which it did not have powers to overrule.

Global practices

The power firm also argues that the procurement process was in compliance with the relevant internationally recognised  practices, particularly those recommended by the Organisation for Economic  Cooperation  and Development. 

One of the tenders involved procurement of design, supply, installation and commissioning of Narok-Bomet transmission line and two bays at Narok and Bomet. 

The other involved the procurement of design, supply, installation and commissioning of Kipevu-Mbaraki 132kv transmission line, bays and substation at Mbaraki and Outdoor line bay extension at Kipevu substation. The company received credit from AFD towards the cost of the projects. 

According to the documents, the tender was opened and closed on January 7, 2020 and on the same date Kenya Power was served with a request for review that was submitted to the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board by ESCA.

National values

ESCA through, their chair Daniel Komu claimed the tender was discriminatory towards Kenyan-owned firms and that it favoured foreign companies.

They also claimed the tender document did not promote national values and principles by failing to promote local industry and added that the criteria was unrealistic and discriminatory, which no Kenya contractor could attain.

“The cash flow requirements that are discriminatory and in denomination which discriminate Kenyan currency in light of the assignment,” they said.

However, the Kenya Power maintained the process was not discriminatory as it was an AFD financed project whose procurement was based on the financier’s procurement guidelines.

 “The Bidding Document took into account the law, the KPLC’s requirements as well as the AFD procurement Guidelines and the commitments the KPLC made under the bilateral agreement,” Kenya Power said. 

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