Islamabad     -   Ignoring the lowest bidders, the Giligit Baltistan (GB) government has shortlisted two companies offering at least 37 percent higher bids for Hanzel Hydropower Project. The Joint Venture of China National Electric Engineering Corporation (CNEEC) and Frontier Works Organization (FWO) has offered a quotation of Rs7.7 billion which was around 37 percent less than the offer made by two shortlisted companies for the Hanzel Hydropower Project, official source told The Nation. Hanzel Hydropower project is PSDP funded project of the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan and is being executed through Water and Power Department, Gilgit Baltistan. The capacity of the Hanzel hydropower project is 20 MW and bidding was invited on 28 May 2018 for Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) basis.

Three JVs including China National Electric Engineering Corporation (CNEEC) and Frontier Works Organization (FWO), Norinco (Pvt) Ltd & Sarwar & Co (Pvt) Ltd JV and JV of China Power and RMG had joined the bidding process. On February 21, 2019, JV of FWO-CNEEC was asked by the office of the PD to extend their bid validity & bid security for further 180 and 208 days respectively. Which was done accordingly,” said the source. However only after three weeks, on 12th March 2019 the JV was informed that FWO-CNEEC bid was non-responsive and the financial bid was returned unopened. This was a clear violation of fundamentals of tender and making endeavor to restrict the JV options to contest the abnormalities observed in the process, the source claimed.

The JV China National Electric Engineering Corporation (CNEEC) and Frontier Works Organization (FWO) quote was Rs 7.7 billion, JV Norinco (Pvt) Ltd & Sarwar & Co (Pvt) Ltd Rs 11.8 billion and JV of China Power and RMG quotation was Rs 11.35 billion. However the lowest bidder was disqualified and the two highest bidders were shortlisted, claimed the source. The JV has approached the Federal Minister Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan Ali Amin Khan Gandapur, Project Director Hanzel and Managing Director PPRA in this regard and share the company’s serious concerns and reservations with regards to the Technical Evaluation bidding process of the project, which is clear violation of the PPRA guidelines, the source said.

According PPRA clause 36(V) the purchaser will reject any proposal which doesn’t conform to the specified requirement, but this rule was not applicable to JV of FWO and CNEEC because they are fully technically complying with the bidding documents, the source maintained. Similarly as per the PPRA rule 48 (2), the employer/purchaser  has a right to file for grievance within 15 days after the announcement of bid evaluation report, which has been clearly denied to the JV  by sending its financial bid unopened, which clearly shows the intent of the employer. The JV requested the minister of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan to hold an enquiry in the matter.