LAHORE: In a bid to recover Rs714 million from a Tehran-based firm, the National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) is considering various proposals including one about taking up the issue with the Iranian government and requesting it to adjust the amount in the payments made by Pakistan for the procurement of electricity from the neighbouring country.
Talking to Dawn, NTDC Managing Director Muhammad Ayub on Tuesday said the company had reopened the case after it was highlighted in the media recently. “I do not know why this was ignored although it involves a huge amount that we need to recover from the Iranian firm under a decision announced by the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in a commercial arbitration last year (in April),” he said.
“I have also asked NTDC’s legal section to prepare a comprehensive report based on the recommendations for recovering Rs714m from the Iranian firm,” the MD added.
“Through quarters concerned in our country, we may contact the government of Iran and request help in recovering the Rs714m from the firm or adjusting it in the payments Pakistan has been making for the purchase of up to 120MW electricity from the neighbouring country,” he added.
In May 2020, the NTDC had served a notice on the firm for the payment of about Rs714m along with interest under the ICC decision announced on April 24, 2020. The dispute arose out of a contract worth billions executed in February 2011 between the Iranian company and the NTDC for the design, supply, installation, testing, and commissioning of 500kV Guddu-Multan third circuit at Rahim Yar Khan substation. The NTDC terminated the contract due to persistent delays on the part of the Iranian contractor. The project was eventually completed by another contractor.
Although the award was announced last year, the NTDC management did not follow up the case to recover the amount from the firm due to various issues, such as lack of on-time decision-making, politics, delay in appointment of a permanent MD, resignation of competent officers and other administrative issues.
The NTDC chief said he would also take up the issue with the company’s board of directors very soon. “The board might order to initiate an inquiry against all those responsible for delaying recovery from the Iranian firm. Whosoever found guilty in this regard will be held responsible,” he warned.
“Under an international agreement, Iran is liable to supply up to 120MW of electricity. On an average, supplies around 80MW are dedicated for Quetta city,” he said.
Published in Dawn, July 28th , 2021