LHDA awards ten­ders worth M187m

Lesotho Times - - Busi­ness - Pas­cali­nah Kabi

LE­SOTHO High­lands De­vel­op­ment Author­ity ( LHDA LHDA) has awarded three ma­jor t ten­ders worth of M186.6 mil­lion to p pri­vate con­sul­tants for the de­sign a and su­per­vi­sion of Le­sotho High High­lands Water Project (LHWP) Pha Phase II. South African-basedAfrican-base AE­COM SA (Pty) Ltd won the ten­der for the de­sign and su­per­vi­sion o of con­struc­tion of the P Poli­hali Western Ac­cess Road (PWAR) from M Mat­soku Val­ley to the da dam site. AE­COM SA part­nered with two lo­cal sub-con­sul­tants AE­COM Le­sotho and RWB Con­sultin Con­sult­ing En­gi­neers in the con­tract worth M66.7 mil­lion and ove over four years. They s started work in Oc­to­ber Oc­to­ber. This week, LHDA Phase II Di Di­vi­sional Man­ager, Tente Tente told a press con­fer­ence th they de­cided to out- source the con­sul­tancy af­ter re­al­is­ing that in-house work did not yield de­sired re­sults in Phase I.

“The four year, ap­prox­i­mately M37.4 mil­lion power and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions in­fra­struc­ture con­tract went to a joint ven­ture be­tween South African-based Plantech and SM Con­sult­ing, a Le­sotho based engi­neer­ing con­sul­tancy,” Mr Tente said.

“It is en­vis­aged that fi­bre op­tic tele­coms ca­bles will piggy back on the 40-50 kilo­me­ters of pow­er­lines which will be erected along the cor­ri­dor cre­ated by the Poli­hali Western Ac­cess Road and will pro­vide the power and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions crit­i­cal to the dam and tun­nel con­struc­tion sites.”

Mr Tente said the new line was needed to sup­ply power to the tun­nel bor­ing ma­chines as well as the equip­ment at the con­struc­tion sites such as ag­gre­gate crush­ing plants, con­crete plants, tun­nel ven­ti­la­tion sys­tems and work­shops.

An­other com­pany, Metsi a Senqu-khubelu Con­sul­tants Joint Ven­ture – con­sist­ing of prom­i­nent engi­neer­ing con­sul­tancy firms of Aure­con, Knight Piesold, Hatch Goba and SMEC (all from South Africa) and FM As­so­ciates from Le­sotho – won the three and half year con­tract worth M82.5 mil­lion for the de­sign and con­struc­tion su­per­vi­sion of the di­ver­sion tun­nels.

The tun­nels will di­vert the river away from the dam site dur­ing the con­struc­tion.

Mr Tente as­sured the public that prepa­ra­tions for the Poli­hali Dam and Hy­dropower sta­tions were all un­der­way and on time.

“Peo­ple might be wor­ried about the phase II project be­cause they are not see­ing any on­go­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, but I can as­sure the na­tion that ev­ery­thing is on sched­ule and there is a lot of work be­ing done on the ground,” he said.

He said the author­ity had al­ready paid M320 mil­lion of the M700 mil­lion it had al­ready com­mit­ted to spend­ing on ten­ders.

The phase II is es­ti­mated to cost M23 bil­lion.

Mr Tente said the ten­der reg­u­la­tions were de­signed in a way that en­abled a “50/50 mix of Le­sotho and South African com­pa­nies”.

He said this in re­sponse to com­plaints by lo­cal firm, Elite Con­sult­ing En­gi­neers (Pty) Ltd who ac­cused LHWP of flout­ing pro­cure­ment reg­u­la­tions in the award­ing of the Poli­hali North East Ac­cess Road ten­der last year.

“I know that this has been on the lips of Ba­sotho and we are push­ing the 50/50 el­e­ment with a pur­pose. To date, 48 per­cent of the con­tracts have been awarded to lo­cal com­pa­nies, 49 per­cent to South African firms while the re­main­ing bal­ance went else­where,” Mr Tente said.

He said due to the author­ity’s cor­rup­tion his­tory, the LHDA had de­vel­oped an anti-cor­rup­tion pol­icy to en­sure that con­tracts were cor­rup­tion-free.

Mr Tente said Elite Con­sult­ing was given a chance to in­ter­ro­gate the LHDA ten­der award­ing pro­cesses as per the author­ity’s pol­icy to give un­suc­cess­ful bid­ders an op­por­tu­nity to see why they were un­suc­cess­ful.

He said there was a fine bal­ance be­tween award­ing con­tracts to Le­sotho and South African firms, adding that they also have brief­ings with both coun­tries’ po­ten­tial bid­ders for all LHDA con­tracts as per the pro­cure­ment poli­cies.

The roads, power and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions in­fra­struc­ture erected as part of the Phase II ad­vance in­fra­struc­ture will re­main in place for public use long af­ter the com­ple­tion of the project.

The new roads will pro­vide al­ter­na­tive routes to Mokhot­long and re­duce trav­el­ling time, mak­ing the award­ing of con­tracts an­other im­por­tant mile­stone to­wards the suc­cess­ful de­liv­ery of phase II.

LHDA Phase II Di­vi­sional Man­ager Tente Tente.

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