To fulfill President Ernest Bai Koroma’s promise to the people of Sierra Leone the minister of Energy and Power, Haja Afsatu Kabba, has officially awarded to Global Trading Group of Belgium the supply of a 15-mega watts of temporary thermal power for electricity generation in Freetown.
Addressing guests at the ministry’s conference room yesterday, the minister said the Government of Sierra Leone and the National Power Authority (NPA) were pleased to announce that the award of the contract to supply 15MW of emergency thermal power to Freetown for the next twelve months had been given to the most responsive and the lowest priced bidder, Global Trading Group of Belgium.
She added that, according to the tender rules, Global Trading Group submitted the lowest qualified bid of 32, 429,873 million United States dollars in total.
Global Trading Group, Mrs Kabba disclosed, “is a Belgian company with experience in running power projects and fuel supply in several African countries”.
Haja Afsatu Kabba averred that, “Global Trading Group will be working with experienced subcontractors and suppliers, and will source the necessary equipment from Energyst, a subsidiary of Caterpillar, the well-known supplier of power plant and energy equipment, which has recently undertaken similar projects in the Canary Islands and Ibiza”.
This company was selected following a transparent and thorough public tender process which was held according to the World Bank and Sierra Leone’s National Public Procurement rules and procedures, and was at all times overseen by appropriate World Bank review committees in Washington, she stated.
She added that the World Bank would provide part of the funding for the project, adding that the winning bidder was now invited to come to Sierra Leone to sign the contract today.
The minister maintained that the evaluation committee conducted due diligence on the references provided by Global Trading Group and was satisfied that the successful bidder had the necessary qualifications to fulfill its entire obligation.
Global Trading Group committed to have the thermal power plant operational by 20 December 2007, according to government’s requirement and there will be financial penalties if it fails to meet the agreed deadline.
She stated that, “we will now work hard at the ministry and the NPA to ensure that power is on stream by the deadline set by government”.
In his remarks the local representative of Global Trading Group, Hussein Bazzy, said his group had been working on electricity for over 30 years and had installed electricity projects in 15 African countries. He added that by the end of this month, the machines and other materials together with the expatriates would be in town, adding further that the 15 MW would produce 24 hours electricity for Freetown and the supply and distribution would be done by NPA.
The local representative assured the public that by the 15-20 December the city would have constant power supply.
Earlier on in his welcoming speech Dr Lancelot Lake, the chairman of the presidential Energy Emergency Task Force, said “the projects is a joint projects of the World Bank and the government of Sierra Leone”. He added that the World Bank’s support would also cover the running cost of the units, “but does not include fuel charges which will be supported by the Government of Sierra Leone”.
Dr Lake noted that, “the World Bank’s support will be in the form of a credit provided by the International Development Agency to the government”.