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Stepping into the controversy surrounding the award of the tender for the Kerawalapitiya LNG power plant to a higher bidder, German Ambassador to Sri Lanka Jorn Rohde yesterday questioned the “transparency” and “openness” of the entire tender procedure.

The government has proposed to build a 300 Megawatt LNG power plant (Liquefied Natural Gas) in Kerawalapitiya.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror on the issue, he said there were a lot of questions in this case as the Procurement Appeal Board reversed the original decision to award the tender to the lowest bidder- LTL Holdings that uses German technology.

“The Power and Energy Ministry Secretary is quoted in the Daily Mirror with a pledge to have open and transparent tender procedures. Sri Lanka needs to have an open and transparent tender process. I think there are a lot of questions, especially in this case. The lowest bidder was unanimously selected. That is LTL Holding (Lakdhanavi) using German technology. Suddenly, the Procurement Appeal Board reversed the decision. The questions raised, I am told, have all been answered in the selection process at Standing Cabinet Appointed Committee (SCAP) and at the Technical Evaluation Committee.

Only when an open and fair tender procedure is guaranteed, Sri Lanka will be an attractive place for Investors. Germany recently opened a trade office here. Also, I see it as a test case whether the Sri Lankan government claim to be a hub in South Asia is more than rhetoric.

Also in Germany, these procedures are observed with close attention. I appealed to the government to guarantee that tender procedures are respected,” he said.

It is learnt that Lakdhanavi is seeking a US$ 330 million loan for the project from Germany-based KfW Development Bank. The project is to be implemented by that company using German technology if the tender is granted. 

-Kelum Bandara


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