jueves, febrero 09, 2006

New Power Plants Deal Questioned

The president of the National Association of Young Businesspeople (ANJE), Eduardo Valcarcel, has questioned the public tender in which Emirates Power DR was selected to build two 600-MW coal-fired power plants, stating that the operation lacked transparency. Clave Digital reports that the contract with the Dominican state-owned Electric Companies Corporation (CDEEE) is due to be signed tomorrow. Valcarcel is demanding more details to justify the decision that obliges the CDEEE to purchase at least 50% of the installed capacity for a period of 20 years when other companies offered to build the plants without this requirement. He believes is it "highly questionable" that the tender winner's representative worked at the CDEEE during the tender process and is also the promoter of Westmont, the company that was about to be hired for the job without holding the public tender. "These procedures reflect the urgent need that the country has for a state purchases and contracting law that will guarantee reliable and transparent procedures in these matters", stated Valcarcel, while asking for more transparency on the part of the government in this tender process.

Clave Digital also reports on complaints from the president of the Dominican Association of Industries (AIRD), Yandra Portela Vila, who opposes the signing of a new energy generation contract with a private company that will receive broad guarantees from the Dominican state. Portela pointed out that the industrial sector is not opposed to the installation of power plants that will produce cheaper energy, but it does question the contracting procedure in terms of what it calls excessive commitments acquired by the state in this contract. Among those commitments, the state is committed to guaranteeing the purchase of a minimum 50% of the installed production capacity of the plants, and to guarantee the required infrastructures and transmission lines that it the plants will be using. According to Portela, if the energy produced by the coal generators is really less expensive, the state should allow it to be sold freely on the spot market without having to guarantee exceptional conditions beyond what the Law of Electricity stipulates.

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