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Sinohydro’s Prequalification Raises Eyebrows for Rivière-des-Anguilles Dam



Sinohydro's Prequalification Raises Eyebrows for Rivière-des-Anguilles Dam

A total of 10 companies have been pre-qualified in the tender launched in March 2024 for the construction of the Rivière-des-Anguilles Dam.

However, the pre-qualification of a specific firm, the Chinese company Sinohydro, has raised concerns.

The construction project of the Rivière-des-Anguilles Dam seems to be surrounded by controversy.

Ten companies, including several Chinese firms, were pre-qualified in the tender launched by the Water Resources Unit (WRU), under the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities.

Sinohydro, a Chinese company that has previously secured contracts for Mauritian government projects, is among them. However, its pre-qualification has sparked worries, especially among technicians at the Ministry of Energy.

They believe that Sinohydro should have been excluded from participating in government project tenders.

This belief stems from the failure of the company to deliver on its last contract for the Wastewater Management Authority (WMA) for a sanitation project in Pailles-Guibbies worth Rs 979 million.

The project faced significant delays, leading the WMA to terminate the contract awarded to Sinohydro on July 7, 2023.

Despite warnings from authorities, such as the Independent Review Panel, about Sinohydro’s suspiciously low bid, the company was still awarded the contract, prompting severe criticism from the parliamentary opposition due to financial and environmental concerns associated with the project.

There are concerns about what will happen to Sinohydro after being pre-qualified for the Rivière-des-Anguilles Dam project, estimated to cost Rs 6.2 billion.

Since its announcement in 2010 by former Minister of Public Utilities Rashid Beebeejaun, the project has faced several setbacks and financial constraints, resulting in delays.

The construction of the dam will be financed with a Rs 2.2 billion loan from the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, through the Saudi Fund for Development, to the Mauritian government.

The loan comes with strict conditions, requiring the Mauritian government to ensure that the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities executes the project diligently and efficiently, following appropriate financial, administrative, and technical standards.

The government must provide the necessary facilities, services, and resources for the project, including establishing a Project Implementation Unit (PIU) led by a project coordinator.

The PIU will include various professionals such as a WRU engineer overseeing construction progress, a Central Water Authority engineer supervising water treatment facility construction, a Central Electricity Board engineer managing hydroelectric plant construction, as well as procurement and finance administrators.

Other Chinese companies pre-qualified in the tender include Hunan Construction Engineering Group Co. Ltd, CHINA MACHINERY ENGINEERING CORPORATION (CMEC), China International Water & Electric Corporation, CHINA GEZHOUBA GROUP COMPANY LIMITED, Hunan Bestall Water Conservancy Construction Co. Ltd, and China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd. The only Mauritian company pre-qualified is Sotravic Ltd.

Source: Defi Media

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