WINDHOEK, 21 MAY (NAMPA) - The legal challenge on the Neckartal Dam construction tender will be heard in the High Court here on Wednesday.
Three judges will hear the legal challenge where the awarding of a tender for the construction of the multibillion-dollar Neckartal Dam to Italian dam construction firm Salini Costruttori S.p.A is being opposed.
A date for the hearing of arguments was decided upon by lawyers involved in the case when they appeared before High Court judge Shafimana Ueitele on 25 April this year.
The case is scheduled to be heard over two days, being 22 and 23 May.
This first legal challenge is being brought before court by lawyers representing one of the unsuccessful bidders, Vinci-Orascom Joint Venture.
According to recent newspaper reports, a second unsuccessful tenderer, CSC Joint Venture, has now also launched legal proceedings to challenge the tender.
It is reported that arguments on both challenges will be heard at the same hearing on Wednesday.
Vinci-Orascom, which is a joint venture of French and Egyptian companies, will be asking the Windhoek High Court to order the Namibian Government to stop the implementation of the tender until the court has given its ruling on the pending legal challenges.
Senior counsel Raymond Heathcote, who is representing Vinci-Orascom, informed Judge Ueitele of this on 25 April this year.
The Tender Board of Namibia announced on 15 March 2013 that it had decided to award the contract for the construction of the Neckartal Dam to Salini Costruttori S.p.A, which had submitted a bid of N.dollars 2,873 billion.
Vinci-Orascom's tender bid was N.dollars 2,876 billion, while the bid of SCS Joint Venture - a joint venture between Italian, South African and Kuwaiti companies - was N.dollars 2,724 billion.
Although a firm of consulting engineers which evaluated the bids of the three shortlisted tenderers recommended that the contract be awarded to Vinci-Orascom, the Tender Board decided to award it to Salini S.p.A instead.
According to the Tender Board, it decided that it could not entrust Vinci-Orascom to build a dam of the magnitude of Neckartal because, in its opinion, the joint venture would have inexperienced key personnel working on the project.
The Tender Board also stated that Salini S.p.A has key experienced people in dam construction, as well as the best technical know-how of all the shortlisted tenderers.
The Neckartal Dam is to be constructed in the Fish River, about 40 kilometres west of Keetmanshoop near the settlement of Berseba in the Karas Region.
The dam will have a wall that will be 518 metres long and 69.5 metres high, and will create a water reservoir covering an area of about 39 square kilometres.
The dam is supposed to provide water for an irrigation scheme, which is to be established on about 5 000 hectares of land downstream from the dam.
The Neckartal Dam, upon completion, will be Namibia's largest dam after the Hardap Dam in the Hardap Region.