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Geothermal power project to go ahead as tender case is thrown out

By Lee Mwiti
Updated Sat, January 30th 2016 at 00:00 GMT +3

A consortium of companies that won a Sh20 billion geothermal power project has been cleared of any wrong doing.

High Court Judge George Odunga endorsed the award of the project to Rentco East Africa Ltd, Lantech Africa Ltd and Toshiba.

The wellheads are one of Jubilee government's flagship projects on power generation. The tender, floated last year, hinged on the leasing of 50 MW Wellheads Geothermal Power Generation Units at Olkaria on a build, lease, operate and maintain basis.

It is one of the projects set to boost the power grid with more than 5,0000 MW before 2017. Tender losers, Transcentury, OJSC Power Machines Ltd and Civicon Ltd, lost the case after the judge termed their application for a judicial review on how the tender was awarded, "hypocritical."

In his ruling last week, Justice Odunga said: "The applicants are bitter losers who think they must either have their way, or no way at all."

He added that it would be expected the applicant would be asking for a nullification of the evaluation process, which is a back-door way of looking for selective application of logic and law.

Transcentury had sought the judicial review of the decision of the Public Procurement Administrative Review (PPOA) Board which had ruled that KenGen had fairly awarded the tender.

It is after the board upheld KenGen's decision to award the tender to Rentco, that Transcentury went for the judicial review. Transcentury had wanted the decision of the board delivered on August 21, 2015, quashed. And also wanted KenGen stopped from entering a contract with Rentco over the tender.

Trans-century also wanted KenGen compelled to award the tender to them as well as include any other reliefs the court may deem fit.

The applicant had argued that they were the lowest bidder. They also said Rentco was unable to demonstrate their financial capability to lease the wellheads, as well as attach three years financial statement because they had only been incorporated on June 12, 2012.

However, the PPOA review board concurred with KenGen that Rentco's financial proposal was better.

Justice Odunga said: "The applicant failed to show in any manner that the board's decision was tainted with illegality and procedural impropriety."

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