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Energy Monitoring Committee and Paulwell to meet

Published:Tuesday | April 29, 2014 | 8:57 AM

Jerome Reynolds, Staff Reporter



KINGSTON, Jamaica:

Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell is expected to face questions today from the Energy Monitoring Committee in relation to the latest development threatening to derail the 381 megawatt energy project.




News emerged yesterday that the Inter-American Development (IDB) does not intend to grant financing to Energy World International (EWI), which has been granted a licence to undertake the project.



The loan being sought by EWI is to provide non-equity financing that would enable it to build the plant.



But the IDB has reportedly stalled on the loan because of concerns raised in special report of the Office of the Contractor General, which said EWI was unfairly included in the bidding process to provide base load capacity to the grid.



And the Government is reportedly contemplating making an approach to the IDB to ask that it respond favourably to the loan request from EWI.



Co-chair of the Energy Monitoring Committee Peter Melhado say while he has heard reports of the concerns of the IDB in the media no official word has been communicated to the committee.



The committee is scheduled to meet this morning with Paulwell to discuss the licence granted to EWI and the implementation agreement signed between the company and the Government.



While stating that he expects the matter to be raised at today’s meeting, Melhedo says the primary focus of the discussion will be on the licence and draft agreement.



Licence to construct 381 megawatt plant to supply power to the national grid was finalised and issued on April 4.



Paulwell indicated that the licence was amended and restated on April 14 to provide for some negotiated changes.



Details of the licence and the implementation agreement have not been made public.



Christie hits at Government over latest development



Former contractor general Greg Christie is rapping the government over the latest development in the 381-megawatt energy project.



Speaking through his Twitter account, the former contractor general said the Government must understand that there are huge costs to pay when it ignores its own procurement procedures and good governance institutions.



In a report to Parliament last September the Office of the Contractor General charged that Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell acted improperly when he facilitated EWI’s inclusion in the bidding process for the project.



The report stated that it is clear that the deadline kept moving to facilitate EWI given that the company was given an extension after the evaluation of bids had already concluded.



It said based on the OUR’s admission that it conducted a preliminary review of EWI's proposal in one day, it was clear that the proposal was not subjected to the same level of assessment as those received before the March 15, 2013 deadline.



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