The Namibia Ports Authority (Namport) has lost the N$85m tugboat tender row at the High Court of Namibia.
Having heard closing arguments from both parties, Justice Shafimana Ueitele has dismissed [with costs] Centani Investment's application to file additional affidavits but granted the company leave to institute an action for damages against Namport, as a result of the ports authority’s infringement of Centani Investment's right to fair administrative action, as envisaged in Article 18 of the Namibian constitution.
Namport had defended its decision not to award the tender for the Walvis Bay harbour to Centani Investment in favour of the Cape Town-based Damen Shipyards.
Centani, however, took to the courts in an affidavit filed claiming Damen Shipyards’ tender offer did not comply with one of the technical requirements of the tender and that Namport had not followed proper channels in the process.
Damen had offered a tugboat with a pulling power of 54 tons bollard pull falling short of one of the stipulated requirements in the tender that the new tug must have a pull capacity of 60 tons bollard pull.
While Centani Investments was prepared to deliver a new tug for N$85.1m, Damen had proposed to deliver the tug at N$50.9m.
“It is ordered that the award of the tender to the second respondent is unlawful and irregular but is not set aside,” the court said.
Namport was also ordered to pay Centani Investment's legal costs. and Namport manager for corporate communications, Liz Sibindi, said the company will not comment at the moment as there are “a few pending decisions.”