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On the truth of the Mini-Grid Projects in Northern Sri Lanka

Media Statement by the Sionsoar-Etechwin JV on the northern islands power project

The undersigned consortium (SINOSOAR-ETECHWIN JV) is the pre-winning bidder for the mini-grid project in three islands in northern part of Sri Lanka. Recently the consortium learned from the media that a third party protested against the decision of the Sri Lankan Cabinet on the ground of so-called "self-security", and concocted a series of false information inconsistent with the facts, which seriously affected the consortium’s reputation and legitimate rights. Meanwhile, it could also damage the credibility and image of the Government of Sri Lankan (GOSL) for attracting foreign investment and contractors. To ensure a correct understanding of the facts, we make the following clarifications and statements on related issues:

I. About the facts of the Project and the International Competitive Bidding

With a concept of uplifting the life style of approximately 10,000 rural inhabitants living in Delf, Analative, Nainativu outer islands, and promoting renewable energy, a loan proposal was submitted to Asian Development Bank (ADB) from the previous Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) in September 2015. The main content of the project is to build a wind-photovoltaic-energy storage hybrid power generation system to replace the original Diesel generator power supply, strengthen the improvement of electricity conditions for residents on the islands, make full use of renewable energy to reduce the cost of fuel power generation, and provide green, continuous and stable power.ADB approved this loan project numbered SRI- 3409 to support the reliability of the local power supply. As the executing agency, the Ceylon Electricity Board started the project implementation in 2016.

Initially this project was advertised on 16th November 2017 inviting the international bidders to participate under the guidance of ADB and GOSL. However, in the 1st international bidding process, the procurement was not success due to none of the bidders comply with the qualification criteria. Hence, the bid was re-tendered on 27th June 2019 with the same ADB Procurement Guidelines allowing International bidders to participate and submit their proposals. The Consortium has submitted its proposal on 18th September 2019 as international bidder, finally passed the bidding evaluation and got the Cabinet award approval on January 18th 2021, and now is waiting for the issuance of the final award letter. The winning bidder shall complete the project within 2 years (730 days) under the supervision and management of the employer (Ceylon Electricity Board) and then handover to CEB.

On January 18th, 2021, the project award was approved by the Cabinet of incumbent GOSL, but the final award letter was delayed due to interference from outside.

II. The consortium solemnly states hereby:

1. Tens of thousands of poor people in northern Sri Lanka will benefit from this project, which is the common wish of the previous and present governments of Sri Lanka. The politicization of the project goes against the interests of the people and does not meet the manifesto of current government.

2. The project is funded by the Asian Development Bank, in full accordance with the international bidding procedures. Every step is open and transparent.

3. According to the bidding regulations, the consortium is only responsible for the construction and handover of the project. All moves are under the complete supervision and management of the employer-Ceylon Electricity Board. There is no so-called “security” concern issue raised by third parties.

4. The consortium strictly abide by the laws and regulations of Sri Lanka and the relevant requirements of the Asian Development Bank as well as the Ceylon Electricity Board. At the same time, we firmly oppose any outrageous interference by any third party without legal and factual basis. The consortium sincerely hopes that the GOSL will strictly follow the international bidding procedures to implement the project, and protect the legitimate rights and interests of the contractor, as well as its own credibility and international reputation.

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