Six foreign firms bid for transmission line project

220kv Gongor Khimti Transmission Line Project

Mar 5, 2019-Kathmandu

Six international companies have shown interest in executing a component of the Tamakoshi-Kathmandu Transmission Line Project being developed by the Nepal Electricity Authority. According to the project office, it is currently evaluating the proposals submitted by one Chinese and five Indian firms to implement the 44-km-long New Khimti-Barhabise section of the power line.

“We have received proposals from Pingao of China, and Tata Project, Larsen and Tourbo, KEC International, Trans Rail India and Kalpataru of India,” said Nava Raj Ojha, chief of the power line project. “Currently, we are evaluating the technical proposals of the applicants, and it will take us about a week to complete it.”

After studying the technical proposals, the project office will send them to the Asian Development Bank for its go-ahead, according to Ojha. The Manila-based multilateral lender is financing the construction of the power line.

The project office will then open the financial proposals of the technically qualified companies, and the lowest bidder among them will win the contract to execute the power line project.  

The project is appointing a new contractor through international competitive bidding conducted in accordance with the Asian Development Bank’s ‘single stage two-envelope bidding procedure’ where interested parties have to submit their technical and financial bids in two envelopes.

“Our plan is to complete the entire procurement process within a month and mobilise the contractor to the project site as soon as possible,” said Ojha. The new contractor will be given 820 days to complete the remaining portion of the power line project, according to the project office.

The project office initiated the public procurement process to hire a new contractor in December after terminating the pact with Guangxi Transmission and Substation Construction Company to construct the 44-km section of the power line due to its deliberate delays in executing the contract. Managing Director Kulman Ghising of the state-owned power utility had visited the project site on multiple occasions and directed the contractor to expedite work, but to no avail.

As per the deal signed between the electricity authority and the Chinese company in September 2016, the substation should have been up and running by May 2019. And by the time most of the work should have been completed, the contractor had not even finished the preliminary tasks of the power line project, prompting the electricity authority to terminate the deal and look for another contractor.

The 400 kV power line is of strategic importance as it will evacuate the electricity generated by the hydropower projects stationed on the Tamakoshi and Khimti rivers to the Kathmandu Valley, where demand for electricity is higher compared to other parts of the country.


BIBEK SUBEDI
Kathmandu Source: The Kathmandu Post