Friday, December 4, 2020

Morupule B was bungled from the beginning ÔÇô BPC technical report

A report compiled by the Botswana power Corporation (BPC) power plant’s owner engineers suggests that the multibillion Morupule B power station was doomed to fail from the outset. The report by Fichtner highlights a series of inconsistencies involving among other things the requirements of the Tender Invitation Documents (TID). The plant which was constructed by China National Electric Equipment Corporation (CNEEC-SBW) is currently up for sale. The report states that “Even though the project implementation schedule of CEEC-SBW is shorter, it is not in compliance with the requirements of the Tender Invitation Documents (TID) and has to be clarified during the final negotiations.”  On the experience of CNEEC handling a mega project like Morupule B, the report states that “CNEEC has abundant experience as an (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction) EPC contractor but mainly as complete equipment supplier for plants up to 600 MW. For the Morupule B power station CNEEC intends to use LEPDI as power plant design institute for the design engineering work.” The report says that CNEEC-SBW ignored technical data sheets of the TDI. The report states that numerous deviations made by CNEEC-SBW, were certainly because they did not follow the technical data sheets. Later the engineers received data sheets but very incomplete, the report shows. “Bidder was asked to provide data sheets according to TDI template with the main parameters. Eventually CNEEC-SBW has provided technical data sheets not completed but still acceptable-for evaluation purposes,” reads the report. On reference situation, the report states that vendors provided by CNEEC are almost all Chinese companies not known outside China adding that no information was received about vendors considered by CNEEC. It says entire units like raw water tanks, sand filter backwash pumps, filtered water storage tanks, alkali storage tanks and water treatment plant are totally missing in the data sheet. According to the report, “reference plants for the Consortium CNEEC-SBW were not indicated.” On the chimney design, the report noted that it has gaps which were to be solved by the contractor during the final design phase of the civil part of the power plant. “The contractor cannot claim for additional costs for the requirements of BPC/Engineer for application of reasonable and experienced solutions which eventually differ from the solution of the contractor,” reads the report. In particular, the report noted that the following aspects required clarification prior to the appointment of CNEEC-SBW as the preferred bidder; acceptance of 15 days reliability run and acceptance that performance tests will be carried out before taking over. The report also noted that CNEEC-SBW has provided a fully priced schedule for items in its bid that do not conform to the TDI (and this schedule of pricing has been used as the basis of evaluating the CNEEC-SBW bid). The owners engineers also raised serious concerns over the revised declaration of CNEEC-SBW‘s bid price of USD 898,220,100. “This figure could not be reconciled with the original bid price submitted after adjusting for the revised pricing adjustments for the items necessary to comply with TID requirements.” The report added that “the higher price of USD 918, 904,527 arising from the adjustment of the original bid price plus the pricing adjustments for the items necessary to comply with the TID requirements has been used for purpose of the financial evaluation.”

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