Friday, October 30, 2020

Local companies sidelined in a billion Pula Oil deal

The Government, through Botswana Oil has reportedly sidelined citizens owned oil companies in a billion Pula project that seeks to procure the supply and storage of fuel in Matola, Mozambique.

By issuing a selective tender for the said project, Botswana Oil closed out a number of local players who were eyeing the lucrative tender.

Sunday Standard has been informed that atleast four international companies have been short listed by Botswana Oil through direct invitations. These companies include Tratigura, Galana and Petromoc, which is National Oil Company of Mozambique.

Local companies are also said to have expressed sentiments that the period for submission of the Request for Quotation (RFQ) was very short. The RFQ was issued on the 26th July 2017 and closed on the 4th August 2017 (9 days) for the expensive activity worth P1.1billion.

“BOL reserves the right to accept or reject any and all proposals received or waive minor defects, irregularities, or informalities therein. BOL would ideally prefer to contract with one Supplier for the provision of all services outlined in this RFQ document. However, BOL reserves the right to split the award should it deem this to be in the best interest of the Company,” reads part of the document.

Willie Mokgatlhe, confirmed to Sunday Standard this week that the RFQ was selective adding that it was to reputable suppliers who have access to Oil storage facilities in Mozambique.

“In line with the procurement process of BOL we are not at liberty to disclose any further information on the bidders as the process is still on-going. We can confirm that we have selected a number of suppliers to ensure that we obtain the most competitive bid,” said Mokgatlhe.

Further quizzed on why the request for quotation was not publicly opened to give all industry players a chance to express their interest, Mokgatlhe stated that this is a restricted procedure in line with BOL’s emergency procurement procedures, which have been approved by the PPADB.

He added that the selected companies have previously delivered competitive bids and service to BOL. However, Mokgatlhe is of the view that petroleum products pricing are based on the movement of crude prices. He added that BOL is able to determine if prices quoted are outside these benchmarks.

“We are not at liberty to disclose the information at this stage as the procurement process is still on-going. We are awaiting quotations for our required quantities which we expect to be based on prevailing international oil prices,” said Mokgatlhe.

Director of the Department of Energy Kenneth Kerekang defended BOL saying the urgency is in response to a supply disruption of Diesel 50PPM in the region due to amongst others, the shutdown of some refineries in South Africa. He added that the procurement of the product by the government will ensure the security of supply for the country.

“After South Africa, Mozambique is the next viable route as it has adequate storage and logistics infrastructure,” said Kerekang.

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