GUWAHATI, June 3 � The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has refused to give the go ahead signal to the Assam Power Generation Corporation Ltd (APGCL) for the settlement of the gas engine procurement bid for the Rs 300-crore 70-MW Lakwa Replacement Power Project (LRPP).
Seventy per cent of the LRPP project cost is funded by the ADB as loan. As per the loan agreement, the ADB is to monitor the entire bidding process. According to information available, the ADB has also asked the APGCL to explain as to �why there was a low turn-out of bids� in the tendering process for setting up the power project.
In this connection, the ADB has pointed out to the fact that only one bidder, out of the nine potential bidders who attended the pre-bid meeting, participated in the bidding process for the proposed power plant.
It is alleged by many potential bidders, NGOs and even the political party wings that some APGCL functionaries and the bidders� consortium of the Wartsila Corporation, Finland and the Wartsila India Ltd have joined hands to restrict entry of more bidders in the tendering process of this power project.
The APGCL initiated an international competitive bidding for procurement of one 70-MW power plant as per the procedures stated in the ADB Procurement Guidelines. It published an invitation for bids (IFB) on January 23, 2014. The Chief General Manager (Generation), APGCL issued the IFB. The date of opening of the bids was extended till May 16, 2014 from March 21, 2014, .
But, after the receipt of bidders� queries for tender information in the pre-bid meeting held on February 27, 2014, it suddenly appeared that some of the APGCL functionaries were following a pre-decided pattern of promoting only the consortium of the Wartsila Corporation, Finland and the Wartsila India Ltd by providing them with the complete tender information.
Following this, the hullabaloo raised by the prospective bidders compelled the APGCL to go for a second IFB on November 18, 2014. The gas engine manufacturers were also invited to attend a meeting on November 26, 2014, in the office of the Chief General Manger (G), APGCL.
At the meeting, all participants � APGCL representatives, the ADB consultant (as the international procurement advisor) and seventeen prospective bidders, came to a common agreement on the qualification requirement (QR) for bidders. But the APGCL arbitrarily changed the QR. Thus again, the APGCL allegedly facilitated the Wartsila bid.