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Parliament probes Chinese geothermal deal

18 March 2014, 22:51 William Korir

Nairobi - Parliament is probing the irregular award of a geothermal tender to a Chinese company.

The National Geothermal Development Company has been in the spotlight over a tender award to a Chinese firm for the procurement of rigs.

According to the parliamentary Public Investments Committee, the Chinese firm, China Development Corporation was initially awarded the development of two rigs but then a third one was also awarded to the same firm without the involvement of a new tendering process.

The company's CEO Dr Silas Simiyu had been summoned by the Committee to explain how the deal worth KES 6 Billion had materialized.

" We did not see the need to do a new tender because the initial tender we had accepted was the best and when we secured  money to add a third rig, we saw no need to re-do the tender when we could just add it to what we already had, he explained to the committee Tuesday.

The committee led by Mp Aden Keynan was angered by what it described as lack of consistent answers by Dr Simiyu over the process.

" There seems to be inconsistencies in what you are saying and I think it is prudent that you come back to us when you are better prepared, Mr Keynan said.

Dr Simiyu had attempted to say on different occasions that the third rig was added to the tender before and after funds had been acquired for it.

He said that the government had no funds to procure the third rig and that the money was acquired through an external lender.

Members of the committee insisted that Dr Simiyu be given time to put his thoughts in order before he return to the second summon.

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