East African Portland Cement Company Forced To Cancel Multi-Million Shillings Fraudulently Awarded Tender For Solar PV Plant

The Public Procurement Administrative Review Board has nullified a multimillion-million tender that had been fraudulently awarded to Spenomatic Kenya Ltd. East African Portland Cement had requested quotations from prequalified firms to send bids for tender No. EAPCPLC/RFP/009/2023 for the design, supply, installation, and commissioning of a grid-tied solar PV plant.

 Five firms, namely Central Electricals International Ltd, Ric Energy Kenya Ltd, Spenomatic Kenya Ltd, Imexolutions Kenya Ltd, and Ofgen-Hidec Consortium Ltd, sent their bids. On May 23, 2023, the tender committee reported that two tenders were non-responsive, while three were determined to be responsive and proceeded to the technical evaluation stage. At the end of the technical evaluation stage, only Spenomatic Kenya Ltd met the pass mark score of 80% and recommended the award of a tender of Ksh. 572,790,267. Head of Supply Chain Moses Sudi, in his professional opinion, approved the award of the tender to Spenomatic.

Mr Berjeesh D Surty Chairman and Managing Director Spenomatic Kenya Ltd. Photo/Courtesy

 However, on September 25, 2023, Central Electricals International Ltd, through their Head of Marketing, Mohamed Taki Rashid, applied for a review, requesting that the award of the tender be set aside and to review the scores awarded to tenderers. They further argued that the letter of rejection of their bid dated September 11, 2023, failed to give reasons for rejection of their bid and that another letter dated September 26, 2023, failed to disclose the name of the successful tenderer.

 During the cross-examination, it was alleged that Central Electricals International Ltd failed to explain the design aspect of a 2MWP solar PV system. It was further claimed that some of the projects referenced in their bid were conducted outside Kenya when the tender documents demanded that tenderers give reference to projects undertaken in Kenya. It was further claimed that the Central Electricals International Ltd tender failed to meet the minimum score of 80% as it only scored 77%.

However the board noted that Central Electricals International Ltd submitted projects undertaken in Kenya for Two Rivers Power Company Ltd, Icfem Dreamland Hospital Ltd, Kimilili, and Kitugum/Lorgum Hospital. The board ruled “It is our considered opinion that the evaluation committee adopted an incorrect approach in evaluating and scoring the applicant’s tender as it failed to give reasons why it did not score full marks”.

 The board therefore ordered, “The letter of notification of award issued to the interested party (Spenomatic Kenya Ltd.) tender No. EAPCPLC/RFP/009/2023 for the design, supply, installation, and commissioning of a grid-tied solar PV plant be and is hereby set aside.”

The board ordered the tender and evaluation committee to admit Central Electricals International Ltd., together with all other tenders that were determined responsive for re-evaluation, and to continue with the tender process to its logical conclusion within 14 days from the date of this ruling (16 October 2023).