Officials of state-owned Northwest Power Generation Company Ltd (NWPGCL) has started evaluation of the tender proposals for 360 MW Bheramara Power Plant with a target to award its contract by January next year.
The officials said if the contract is awarded by next January, the proposed plant could be installed by mid 2015 and start commercial production from its simple cycle unit within the stipulated timeframe. In that case, they hope, the plant’s combined cycle unit will come into operation by May 2016.
The NWPGCL, formed as a designated entity for power generation in the country’s northwestern region, will implement the Bheramara project with Japanese financial support.
Of the total estimated cost of Tk 41.404 billion, Japanese donor JICA will provide Tk 32.210 billion while the remaining Tk 9.193 billion will come from government funding.
NWPGCL received technical and financial proposals from four (4) international bidders under a ‘one stage-two envelopes system’ tender process. Initially, four (4) bids were found to be valid for the project.
The companies are Japanese Sumitomo, Marubeni and Mitsui with its Korean partner Posco, and Spanish firm Duro Felguera.
However, three bidders except Marubeni submitted their bank guarantees in manual system in which they provided bid bonds issued by different banks.
Only Marubeni submitted its bank guarantee through digital system - through a SWIFT message. SWIFT stands for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications and it is a cooperative society.
Sources said the Marubeni’s bid guarantee was issued through SWIFT message by Credit Agricole CIB, Tokyo, and advice was issued by Woori Bank, Bangladesh.
This has created a controversy among the competing bidders. The contending bidders raised objections to acceptance of SWIFT by NWPGCL officials saying that such instrument is not acceptable as per tender document.
Marubeni officials made a counter argument saying that tender clause of the bid document allows bid security in the form of bond, bank guarantee both hard copy and SWIFT copy.
They also said the bid document of the project was prepared by a renowned consultant as per standard guideline of JICA which did not impose any bar to accepting bank guarantee’s hard copy or SWIFT copy.
Official sources said the financial offers of the four companies will be opened after completing evaluation of the technical offers.
Marubeni earlier won two contracts - 360 MW Haripur and 350 MW Bibiyana-3 projects. Of these, an EPC contractor has recently completed Haripur plant construction with capacity of 412 MW. Now it is moving with the Bibiyana-3 project.