The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has given the green light for State Electric Company (STELCO) to award the project of laying a high voltage power cable between capital Male and reclaimed suburb Hulhumale to Dongfang Electric Corporation (DEC) of China.
DEC had proposed a bid of USD 38.6 million (MVR 567.4 million) without interest for the project, while another Chinese firm, China National Electric Engineering Company (CNEEC), had proposed USD 44.4 million (MVR 684.6 million) with bank interest. The initial project leader, Ministry of Environment and Energy, had awarded the project to the latter and informed CNEEC in writing last November 13.
However, the government in December tasked STELCO with leading the project. STELCO had then evaluated the proposals from both companies and awarded the project to DEC.
Stating that STELCO’s decision to award the cable project to DEC without bid violated a clause in the Public Finance Act, the ACC had ordered STELCO to halt awarding of the project until the commission concluded its investigation. In a letter sent to the finance ministry signed by ACC’s president Hassan Luthfee last Wednesday, the commission had concluded that the clause in the Public Finance Act was not violated and no room for graft was found in awarding of the project. Thus ACC had asked STELCO to proceed with the awarding of the project as previously planned.
According to STELCO, a 50-megawatt power plant being developed in Hulhumale by DEC would power a 132-kilowatt high voltage cable that would be laid between the suburb and Male. The cable would provide emergency power to Male as well as airport Hulhule, which lies between the capital and Hulhumale.
STELCO is carrying out its fifth power project in Hulhumale, which has an expense of MVR 1.2 billion. The project is carried out in three parts, comprising of the establishment of six 8.9 megawatt generators, a fuel farm, and a water desalination facility.