Chinese company denies security concerns in northern power projects

Tuesday, 23 February 2021 01:35 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Says false info circulated on security issues is misleading and damaging to reputation 
  • Points out ADB followed transparency and due process in tender 
  • Despite Cabinet approval, final award letter delayed due to “outside interference” 
  • Warns SL investment reputation could be harmed if int’l standards not followed

Chinese company Sinosoar-Etechwin Joint Venture, which won the project to build power projects in three northern islands, yesterday rejected allegations its involvement could create security concerns, insisting that the award was given after due process and the entire undertaking was with the supervision of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB).  

Releasing a statement Sinosoar-Etechwin JV said false information which seriously affected the consortium’s reputation and legitimate rights had been circulated and warned that such disinformation could also damage the credibility and image of the Sri Lankan Government and dent its ability to attract foreign investment. 

The company said the power projects covering Delft, Analative, and Nainativu islands were formulated to support some 10,000 residents. The loan proposal was submitted to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) by the previous Government in September 2015. The main aim of the project is to build a wind-photovoltaic-energy storage hybrid power generation system to replace the original Diesel generator power supply, and strengthen the improvement of electricity conditions for residents on the islands. 

ADB approved this loan project numbered SRI- 3409 to support the reliability of the local power supply. As the executing agency, the Ceylon Electricity Board started the project implementation in 2016.

However, the first international bidding process, which was in November 2017, was not successful due to none of the bidders complying with the qualification criteria. Hence, the bid was re-tendered on 27 June 2019 with the same ADB Procurement Guidelines allowing international bidders to participate and submit their proposals, the statement said. 

The Consortium submitted its proposal on 18 September 2019 as an international bidder, and received Cabinet approval on 18 January 2021, and is awaiting the issuance of the final award letter. 

“The winning bidder has to complete the project within two years under the supervision of the CEB and hand it over to them. Even though the project award was approved by the Cabinet the final award letter was delayed due to interference from outside,” the company said.

The statement went onto point out that the power project will improve the lives of thousands of Sri Lankans; that as an ADB process the tender was transparent and followed due process; and that the consortium would be fully under CEB oversight. 

“We firmly oppose any outrageous interference by any third party without legal and factual basis. The consortium sincerely hopes that the Government will strictly follow the international bidding procedures to implement the project, and protect the legitimate rights and interests of the contractor, as well as its own credibility and international reputation.”