No less than 10 companies were prequalified during the call for tenders launched in March 2024 for the construction of the Rivière-des-Anguilles dam. But the prequalification of one firm in particular raises questions: that of the Chinese company Sinohydro.

The Rivière-des-Anguilles Dam construction project is definitely doomed to be tinged with controversy. Ten companies, including several Chinese companies, were prequalified in the tender launched by the Water Resources Unit (WRU), falling under the aegis of the Ministry of Energy and Utilities. Among them is Sinohydro, a Chinese company which has won numerous contracts for Mauritian government projects in the past.

The problem is that its prequalification raises serious concerns, particularly those of technicians from the Ministry of Energy. They believe that Sinohydro should simply have been excluded from participating in tenders for government projects. Reason: they are based on the failure suffered by the Chinese firm in completing the last contract entrusted to it.

Sinohydro was chosen by the Wastewater Management Authority (WMA) for a sanitation project in Pailles-Guibbies for an amount of Rs 979 million. However, it was faced with serious delays, which ultimately led the WMA to terminate the contract which had been awarded to Sinohydro on July 7, 2023.

Authorities, such as the Independent Review Panel, had nevertheless drawn the attention of the WMA to the offer presented by the Chinese firm during the call for tenders. They stressed that it was “abnormally low”. However, despite these warnings, it was indeed Sinohydro which won the contract. Which had also sparked severe criticism from the parliamentary opposition, which deplored the financial and environmental disasters associated with the project.

A source wonders what will happen to Sinohydro after this prequalification stage as part of the Rivière-des-Anguilles Dam project, the cost of which is estimated at Rs 6.2 billion. Since its initial announcement in 2010 by former Public Services Minister Rashid Beebeejaun, it has encountered several setbacks and financial constraints, including several delays.

The construction of this dam will be financed with the help of the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa which, through the Saudi Fund for Development, granted a loan of Rs 2.2 billion to the Mauritian government to finance the project. . This loan comes with strict conditions.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Mauritian government must provide assurance that its Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities will carry out the project diligently and efficiently, in compliance with appropriate financial, administrative and technical standards. It is imperative to provide the necessary facilities, services and other resources for this purpose.

In addition, the government must supervise the establishment of a Project Implementation Unit (PIU). This will be led by a project coordinator. It will include several managers, including a full-time WRU engineer assisted by a technician for the daily monitoring of infrastructure construction; a full-time Central Water Authority engineer with the support of a technician responsible for daily monitoring of the construction of water treatment facilities; a full-time Central Electricity Board engineer, responsible for daily monitoring of the construction of the hydroelectric power station; a tender manager and a financial administrator, among others.

Other Chinese companies prequalified in the tender are: 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 prequalified during the exercise is Sotravic Ltée.

Leave a reply below

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Contact Business

Captcha Code