Court halts Kenya Power’s Sh285m emergency towers purchase tender


Kenya Power workers carry out repair works. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The High Court has ordered the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) to halt award of a Sh285 million contract for procurement of emergency restoration towers (ERTs) and galvanised steel structures for use in premium customer service schemes and various primary and secondary substations.

ERTs are structures that are a temporary solution designed to bypass existing permanent transmission to rapidly get lines back in service.

The High Court decision followed a suit by Sharpcut Designers Limited, challenging a decision by the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board (PPARB). KPLC was enjoined in the suit as an interested party.

“An order of prohibition is hereby granted prohibiting the 1st interested party (KPLC) from entering into contract with the 2nd interested party (Credible Technical Works Limited) for the supply of emergency restoration towers (ERTs) and galvanised steel structures for implementation of premium customers schemes and for various primary and secondary substations” Justice Jairus Ngaah said the judge added.

KPLC in October 2023 floated a tender for the supply of ERTs and galvanised steel structures. Sharpcut Designers placed its bid for the tender at a tender sum of Sh269,175,844. On March 27, 2024, the company received an email informing it that its tender was unsuccessful.

The email stated: “Historical contract performance default form 3.2 was not duly filled. A bidder was supposed to state/specify any unresolved cases/litigations, in case the answer was yes in the parts above this requirement. However, you stated yes in the said part of the form but failed to state cases/litigations as required in the tender.”

Aggrieved by this, Sharpcut Designers proceeded to PPARB for intervention on April 11, 2024, but received a decision on May 2, 2024, from the board informing it that its suit had been struck out for being filed out of time. This prompted the company to move to the High Court seeking, among other things, an order to stop Kenya Power from getting into a contract with Credible Technical Works to whom the tender had been awarded. Credible Technical Works had won the tender for a sum of Sh285 million.

Sharpcut Designers told the court that, “the respondent’s (PPARB) decision was based on the fact that email communication is instantaneous and therefore the applicant is deemed to have received the notification of the award on 27 March 2024."

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