ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Thursday allowed award of Rs55 billion worth of 300-megawatt coal power project at Gwadar to a Chinese firm without bidding.

Presided over by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, the single-point meeting of the ECC was specifically convened to authorise the Private Power and Infrastructure Board to proceed with the award of the project to China Communi­cation Construction Company (CCCC) at Gwadar.

The authorisation was given a special case under rule 5 of the procurement rules that allowed project award in exceptional circumstances. The rule meant that “whenever these (Pakistan Procurement Regulatory Authority) rules are in conflict with an obligation of commitment of the federal government arising out an international treaty or an agreement with state or states or any international financial institutions the provisions of such international treaty or agreement shall prevail to the extent of such conflict”.

Originally, project was of 600MW capacity as part of Gwadar Port development but was reduced to 300MW on the request of the Chinese side under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in November 2014.

At a meeting of the Joint Energy Working Group in August, the Chinese government nominated CCCC, a state-owned entity, to invest in the project and Pakistan readily agreed to oblige. The company requested the PPIB in September 2015 for the development of 300MW plant on imported coal using supercritical technology.

The summary to the ECC claimed that in November 2016, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the power ministry’s request desired the ministry and the PPIB to proceed on the earlier application of CCCC for grant of letter of interest/letter of support for the project “after completion of necessary legal formalities as the project was part of CPEC.

Interestingly, the government announced in April 2015 power generation policy. The policy required the project be process under the clause 6.3 of the power policy under designated projects that were covered under bilateral agreements between the GOP and the foreign governments, thus enabling exemption of pre-award process and procedures, including pre-qualification and thereby direct award and further processing of the project.

The ECC approved the proposal put forth by the power ministry for authorising the PPIB to proceed with the awarding of the project to the CCCC under rule 5 of the Public Procurement Rules 2004.

Published in Dawn, March 31st, 2017

Now you can follow Dawn Business on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook for insights on business, finance and tech from Pakistan and across the world.

Opinion

Editorial

Nuclear miscalculations
26 Jan, 2023

Nuclear miscalculations

IF the claim of former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo, that Pakistan and India came close to a nuclear exchange...
Exchange rate cap
26 Jan, 2023

Exchange rate cap

THE ‘management’ of the exchange rate by the State Bank, allegedly at the behest of the government, to ward off...
Fawad’s arrest
Updated 26 Jan, 2023

Fawad’s arrest

Does the state really need to fan public discontent in a period as fraught with uncertainty as this?
The rot within
25 Jan, 2023

The rot within

EVEN by the abysmal standards of our broken legal system, the acquittal of former SSP Rao Anwar and his 17...
Into darkness
Updated 25 Jan, 2023

Into darkness

The energy transmission infrastructure needs to be treated with more seriousness and its weaknesses removed.
Monetary policy
25 Jan, 2023

Monetary policy

THE State Bank’s decision to hike its key policy rate to a 25-year high of 17pc to anchor inflation expectations ...