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Pakistan blacklists leading Chinese power company

Islamabad faces huge pressure from Beijing after banning Sepco-III, a subsidiary of Power China, from participating in all NTDC tenders for two years

Pakistan has blacklisted a leading state-owned Chinese power company, subsequently facing huge diplomatic pressure from Beijing.

Sepco-III has been blacklisted by the National Transmission Dispatch Company (NTDC) “from participating in all NTDC tenders for two years”, according to a letter available with Minute Mirror.

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The NTDC spokesperson denied having knowledge of the development and said he would be able to respond to queries on Monday.

Sepco-III is involved in projects worth billions of dollars in Pakistan and is the subsidiary of Power China, the biggest state-owned and second largest energy company in the world. It won key projects during the previous tenure of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.

It has executed and is operating Pakistan’s biggest RLNG-based Haveli Bahadur Shah Power Plant – currently damaged due to a fire incident last month. The inquiry report of the incident has been finalized and will be submitted for prime minister’s consideration on Monday, according to high level sources. Major flaws have been mentioned in the report, seeking actions against the handlers, sources said.

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The blacklisting of the firm was proposed by the NTDC last week but it remained under consideration due to diplomatic issue for days until the letter was circulated on Friday. Chinese embassy was still putting pressure to withdraw the ban, said the sources.

“The firm M/S Sepco-III Electric Power Construction Co Limited, China is hereby blacklisted from participating in all NTDC tenders with immediate effect with issuance of this letter for the period of two years under Rule-19. 1 (a) of the PPRA Rules 2021 on account of making false/unjustified claims to avoid their obligations by disregarding their submitted undertakings, non-fulfilment of their commitments, serious violations of the provision of the bidding document, indulging in fraudulent claims and promoting NTDC to accept its unlawful demands otherwise warning NTDC not to perform the project up to optimal standard,” read the letter dated August 8 against tenders number ABD-300-AR-2021 & NOR-106-2020.

The letter issued by the NTDC GM Ashar Ali with the approval of NTDC MD Dr. Rana Abdul Jabbar Khan further read the Sepco-III deliberately repeated the same episode of unprofessional tactics and sabotaged the bidding process in both NTDC tenders which caused delay in completion of flagship projects besides either NTDC had to retender or to switch to second lowest responsive bidder which was higher in prices.

Sources said delay in the project caused billions of rupees loss to the national exchequer. They added that blacklisting from NTDC means the Chinese firm will not be able to continue future venture in any sector for at least two years as per rules of Public Procurement Regulatory Authority.

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