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Industry

Tender row hits last mile power project

President Uhuru Kenyatta switches on power at a beneficiary’s home in Narok.  PHOTO | SAMUEL MIRING'U | NMG
President Uhuru Kenyatta switches on power at a beneficiary’s home in Narok. PHOTO | SAMUEL MIRING'U | NMG 

A last-mile multibillion-shilling electricity project funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) has been hit by a tender row that now threatens to derail it.

The tender was for building and installation of electricity in Nandi, Kakamega, Bungoma, Nakuru, Samburu, Laikipia and Nyeri.

The project has been earmarked as part of the country’s Vision 2030 development blueprint.

A Nigerian firm has moved to court disputing the process followed in awarding the tender in at least seven counties in Western and Nyanza.

CCC International Engineering Nigeria claims that Kenya Power awarded the contract to Bajaj Electricals and Wayne Homes despite a prohibitive order by the Public and Procurement and Review Board (PPARB).

The Nigerian firm holds that Kenya Power had earlier disqualified it over alleged conflict of interest despite being the lowest bidder.

The decision was, however, reversed by the PPARB following a successful appeal.

Order disobeyed

The PPARB had directed Kenya Power to award the Nigerian firm the contract, but now it claims the order was disobeyed.

“The applicant indeed had legitimate expectations that since no party had challenged the decision of the Board in the request for Review no. 98 of 2017 then the said decision was final and binding and that the respondent (Kenya Power) would award the subject tender to the applicant in compliance with the orders of 1st interested party (PPARB),” says Nigerian firm in papers filed in court.

According to the firm, after evaluation it was declared the successful bidder for the five regions but before it was formally awarded, the AfDB allegedly raised the issue of conflict of interest.

The multilateral lender is said to have taken issue with the fact that the Nigerian firm’s parent company had also placed a separate bid.

However, the firm defended itself claiming that its parent firm bided for a different cluster of counties. It claimed that its price of Sh2.6 billion was the lowest.

The PPARB delivered a decision in favour of CCC International in December last year.

However, on January 22 it received notification from Kenya Power indicating that the tender had been awarded to Bajaj Electricals Limited and Wayne Homes on grounds that its bid didn’t meet the financial requirement.

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