Loss from handing over tender to China will be Rs. 40-80 bn – Counsel

Construction of LNG power plant



by Sarath Dharamsena


President’s Counsel Ali Sabri informed the Supreme Court yesterday that if the Power and Energy Ministry Tender Board had adhered to the provisions of the Sri Lanka Electricity Act, the tender for the construction of an LNG power plant in Kerawalapitiya would not have been given to a Chinese Company overlooking the local bidder Lakdhanavi. The proposed plant is expected to generate 300MW.


The prices submitted by the bidders should have been forwarded to the Sri Lanka Public Utilization Commission for approval before being forwarded to the Cabinet, Ali Sabri PC said. Had the tender board followed the due process the Chinese bidder would not have been able to secure the tender.


Ali Sabri PC said so when a petition against handing over of a tender to a Chinese Company for the construction Kerawalapitiya LNG power generation plant was taken for consideration yesterday.


The petition was taken up before a bench comprising Justices Eva Wanasundara, Priyantha Jayawardena and M. Fernando. The petitioner is HK Ranjith Pushpakumara of Boralesgamuwa.


Ali Sabri, PC, appearing for the petitioner said that the agreement for the construction of LNG power plant at Kerawalapitiya would be valid for 20 years.


Local bidder, Lakdhanvi, had submitted a lower bid but it had been overlooked to hand over the tender to a Chinese company which had submitted a higher bid, the court was told. The loss the country was expected to suffer would amount to 40 billion rupees as a result, the counsel said. Taking into consideration the rate of rupee depreciation the loss might even go up to 80 bn, he said.


The case would be taken for hearing on July 17.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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