UNITED States-based global energy firm APR Energy Holdings has expressed disappointment over the manner it eventually lost the dodgy US$194 million Dema Diesel Power Plant despite initially winning the tender.
APR executives told Zimbabwe Independent this week they were seeking an explanation from government on why they lost the tender to a company linked to the First Family.
President Robert Mugabe’s in-law, Derick Chikore, brother to Simba who is married to the president’s daughter Bona, has an interest in the controversial project.
“We are greatly disappointed by the outcome of the public procurement process and we have requested clarification from the Ministry of Energy and Power Development surrounding the evaluation leading to APR Energy being unsuccessful in being awarded the 200MW power project after submitting a comprehensive and complaint bid,” company chairman and CEO John Campion told the Independent.
“Most importantly, APR Energy submitted a fully compliant bid and one that was the most competitive, yet the project was awarded to a company that was not part of the original tender, which is strictly prohibited. This not only damages the reputation of ZETDC, Zesa, the Ministry of Energy and the Government, but it affects greatly the Zimbabwean people who ultimately will pay a higher price for power generated leading to greater stress on the economy.”
Campion said had the options for power generation been open-ended, the company would have recommended a solution using state-of-the-art mobile gas turbines that could run on conventional fuels such as diesel, as well as lower-cost and widely available alternatives such as liquid petroleum gas, naphtha and kerosene.
“The preferred generating option – diesel-powered reciprocating engines – was not the most practical or cost-effective option available to ZPC or its customers,” said Campion.
As first reported by the Independent, sources familiar with the project said the awarding of the multimillion-dollar-project to Chikore and Sakunda Energy owner Kuda Tagwirei was also a payback gesture to the local fuel dealer who occasionally bails out the bankrupt ruling Zanu PF, including during the 2013 elections.
The adjudication report reveals APR won the tender because it was fully compliant with its mandatory and technical requirements.
The awarding of the tender to APR was subject to negotiations on the price, dry fixed monthly capacity charge, dry variable non-fuel energy charge, wet fixed monthly capacity charge and wet variable energy charge.
APR also offered to employ and train local personnel. The company’s payment terms included that “all costs are to be recovered through the tariff based on billing subject to the billing conditions (no advance payments)”.