Arandis Power loses power tender legal battle

07 Jul 2016 16:50pm
WINDHOEK, 07 JUL (NAMPA) - An application by Arandis Power challenging the Namibian Government and NamPower’s decision to award a 250 megawatts (MW) power tender to Xaris Energy, has been dismissed because of unreasonable delay.
Arandis Power launched the application in the High Court in May this year.
The tender is for the construction of a multi-million dollar power plant in the Walvis Bay area in Erongo Region.
High Court Judge Collins Parker handed down judgement on Thursday.
“The applicant instituted the application to review preferred-bidder-decision some 16 months after that decision came to the applicant’s attention and to review the award of the tender decision 12 months after decision was known by the applicant. Therefore, the court found that the delay by the applicant in instituting the application was unreasonable,” reads the judgement.
The court also found that Arandis Power had not put forth any cogent and sufficient facts satisfactory to the court to explain the unreasonable delay.
Furthermore, the court found that the explanation concerning unlawful interference by the Ministry of Mines and Energy and other members of the Namibian Government in the tender process was unlawful and cannot be legitimate grounds for the unreasonable delay in instituting the failed application.
“The court concluded that if the court accepted the unlawful interference by some members of the Namibian authority as grounds for the unreasonable delay and condoned the unreasonable delay and entertained the application, it would be setting a very dangerous precedent,” noted Parker.
The application was dismissed with costs and Arandis Power was ordered to foot the legal bills of the legal teams of the respondents.
The six respondents in the matter were President Hage Geingob, his Cabinet, Minister of Mines and Energy Obeth Kandjoze, NamPower, Xaris Energy and Synohydro Corporation Limited.
In the failed case, Arandis Power claimed the tender process was irregular and that Xaris Energy was favoured by the government and NamPower.
Instead, Xaris Energy accused Arandis Power of not having Namibia’s interests at heart and that it is simply a disgruntled and disappointed tenderer.
Advocate Raymond Heathcote represented Arandis Power.
South African Senior Counsel (SC) Ishmael Semenya and Advocates Theo Frank and Andrew Corbett defended the six respondents.