Power bid adjudication underway

PHILLIMON MHLANGA 

A tender bid submitted by an Indian contractor, which is vying to upgrade the 74-year-old Bulawayo Power Station, is now under financial adjudication, Business Times can report.

The rehabilitation of the power plant will entail the installation of new technology including CFBC boilers and auxiliaries.  Cooling towers will also be refurbished to extend their life by between 15 to 20 years. After completion, the coal-fired thermal power plant is expected to play an immense contribution in the provision of electricity in the country.

Currently, the Bulawayo Power Station has a capacity to generate about 90MW. The plant, however, is generating 20MW daily due to old age. The re-powering is expected to boost power generation capacity at the plant. This will improve efficiency and reliability and will be able to generate more than 90MW.

The adjudication of the sole tender bid comes six years after the Export Import Bank of India, the financier of the project availed US$87m line of credit to repower the Bulawayo power plant.

ZESA acting spokesperson, Prisca Utete, confirmed the financial adjudication process currently underway but could not be drawn into revealing the identity of the bidder.

She declined to disclose the identity of the bidder.

“Tendering for the Bulawayo repowering project is in progress and financial adjudication of the bid by an Indian contractor is still under review,” Utete told Business Times.

In 2017, the then State Procurement Board (SPB) and Zimbabwe Power Company rejected a tender bid  by an Indian consortium, Thyssen Krupp Industries  in partnership with Technofab Engineering (Private) Limited.

SPB has since been replaced by the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe as part of reforms in public procurement.

Technofab Engineering had emerged as the sole bidder for the project following a pre-qualification bidding process by the project financiers, the Exim Bank of India.

But, the Indian consortium’s bidding price was higher than the project’s budget, resulting in ZPC and the SPB in 2017 calling for the tender to be re-floated.

The US$87m loan has a 13-year tenure, a grace period of three years and a repayment period of 10 years at two percent interest rate per annum.

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