A year after winning a contract to refurbish the Morupule A power station without bidding, Doosan Heavy Industries Construction is said to have won another lucrative tender in the same manner.
Morupule A adjoins the operational Morupule B power plant and before Doosan started the refurbishment work, ash from Morupule B was dumped where it shouldn’t have, creating both an environmental hazard and emergency that had to be dealt with promptly. Ash from the plant is very toxic and can easily find its way to private boreholes surrounding the plant and contaminate water used to water livestock.
Both plants are owned and operated by the Botswana Power Corporation which, as we learn, neither carried out an investigation nor took disciplinary action against the responsible party. What the Corporation did instead was to float a tender for the removal of the ash. The job also entailed burying plastic sheeting in the ground in the affected area to prevent the ash remnants from percolating through the soil to the boreholes.
Our information is that a number of companies put in bids, that the lowest bid was “between P4 million and P5 million” and that Doosan didn’t bid. Along the way, however, BPC management decided to invite Doosan to do the job. Sources say that Doosan ended up getting the job for a whopping P12 million. Sunday Standard sought BPC’s side of the story through a set of written questions but at press time, which was four days later, a response had not been tendered.
The ash tender was second time lucky for the South Korean company which was parachuted into the bidding process for the refurbishment of Morupule A. This tender was floated twice with Doosan missing both opportunities. At a time when the tendering process had been whittled down to two companies and when the owner’s engineer had recommended that BPC should open talks with the companies to negotiate a suitable price, Doosan was brought in as an unsolicited bidder. Along the way, BPC offloaded the two bidders and engaged Doosan for the refurbishment project.