A Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) tender for the charter of two tugboats for one year, is likely to be cancelled.
After a delay of six months in the awarding of the tender, P. Jairaj Kumar, the Chairman of Ocean Sparkle Limited (OSL), which was recommended by the Cabinet Appointed Procurement Committee (CAPC) to provide one tugboat, asked the Indian High Commission to look into the deferral.
This past week, members of the Indian High Commission reportedly raised the issue with R. Paskaralingam, a senior adviser to the Prime Minister and Chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management, and officials of the Ministry of Ports and Shipping.
The officials argued that OSL’s fees are too high and that they plan to cancel the previous tender and open a fresh one. However, according to Kumar, OSL has been providing tugboat services to the SLPA at $4,380 per tug per day, and he said the new tender would reduce that price to $4,275 per tug per day.
“The representatives from the ministry are essentially saying the OSL bid was not competitive, but if this were so, the tender advisory board would not have awarded us the contract,” Kumar said.
He added that his company’s bid was lower than that of SLSC, so it is strange that the SLPA would give half the tender to a competitor that is offering a more expensive product before saying both were too pricey.