Despite concerns from the experts of the Technical Evaluation Committee, Power and Energy Minister W. D. J. Seneviratne has recommended that the Ceylon Electricity Board outsource all domestically funded Transmission and Grid construction projects.
Experts in the CEB yesterday said that CEB is capable of handling its own projects and they had already spelled it out to the minister. A spokesman added `It seems that the Power and Energy Minister too was not happy with his decision though he had to take the initiative.`
Meanwhile, senior officers at the Central Bank recommend calling for open competitive tenders with relaxed rules for domestic contractors to ensure that the CEB carries out projects at lowest cost.
A senior official of the CEB told The Island yesterday said that minister s decision also includes the cancellation of two projects - augmentation of eight grid substations in (a) Balangoda, Nuwara Eliya, Badulla, Ratnapura, Seethawaka, Wimalasundara, Rantambe and Ukuwela and the construction of transmission line from Embilipitiya to Beliatta and (b) construction of new substation at Beliatta- awarded to Lanka Transformers Limited.
The Island learns that the Balangoda, Nuwara Eliya and Badulla phase 1 is to carried out by the Technical Evaluation Committee funded by the Government amounting to 1,197 million rupees. Ratnapura, Seethawaka and Wimalasundara phase 11 amounts to 855 million rupees which is jointly funded by the Asian Development Bank and Government.
The construction of a transmission line from Embilipitiya to Beliatta and construction of new substation at Beliatta done through TEC and funded by the Government amounts to rupees 771.2 million.
According to Seneviratne, despite having all the resources to be a prime bidder on its own, LTL has to resort to this strategy since all tender documents of CEB specified turnover limits of average annual turnover of USD 12 million or equivalent over the last five years, plus successful experience as prime contractor in the construction projects of similar nature outside of Sri Lanka or in Sri Lanka.