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French Version


Results of power plant tender still unknown (Daily Star)

The outcome of the public tender’s results, for the maintenance and operation of the two major power plants of Zahrani and Beddawi, will remain unknown until the Cabinet’s meeting this Thursday, according to Beirut MP Mohammed Qabbani.

Qabbani, who is also the head of the Parliamentary Public Works Committee, received the chairman of the board of directors of Electricite du Liban (EDL), Kamal Hayek, on Monday to discuss the latest developments with regard to the Cabinet’s recent decision to cancel the results of the tender.

EDL had awarded the Irish electrical engineering firm Shanahan a $22 million contract in December to carry out maintenance work on the two plants. The Irish firm, according to the contract, would have had to provide the necessary technical staff for a period of two years and carry out all maintenance work to keep the stations in good working condition.

However, the Cabinet, at the request of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, canceled the public tender on the grounds that the entire bidding process was marked by certain irregularities.

EDL’s board of directors defended the decision to award the contract to Shanahan before the parliamentary committee.

“The choice (of Shanahan) was a standard procedure based on standard EDL policy,” Qabbani quoted EDL’s board during Monday’s meeting. “We were convinced by that argument and by the fact that only one company (Shanahan) had won the tender by outbidding other companies,” added Qabbani.

He said that a report was submitted to the Cabinet on the flaws in the maintenance of the two stations, now undertaken by Italian company Enel. “The matter of the tender’s decision and the other decision to temporarily seize Enel’s financial guarantee are still under consideration,” Qabbani told Hayek.

On Jan.15, the Cabinet ordered Energy Minister Ayoub Humayed to cancel the results of the tender, which according to the ministry followed all conditions laid down by the government. Humayed was instructed not to award the contract to Shanahan and to refer the case to the Cabinet.

Some of the companies that were disqualified from the bidding claimed that Shanahan did not have enough experience in power plants and maintenance. Shanahan won the tender after undercutting its nearest rival, the Italian company Enel, by $2 million in operating and maintenance costs and by 23 percent to the former contract.

Industry experts have compared the cancellation of the electrical maintenance tender to the mobile industry’s scandal when four of the six mobile companies walked away from the public tender earlier this month.

Beirut 02-02-2004
Elie Hourany
The Daily Star



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