Court throws out decision on €600 million incinerator

PN MP Adrian Delia said public procurement needed 'a robust shakeup'

 

Aqra bil-Malti.

Multinational consortium Hitachi-Terna has won the appeal contesting a €600 million tender for the construction of an incinerator at Maghtab that was awarded to a firm linked to Bonnici Bros by Wasteserv.

The project is one of the most expensive in Malta, even surpassing the millions spent on the hospitals and the Electrogas power station.

It was controversial from the start, but the government dug in its heels, favouring Bonnici Brothers – close collaborators with Prime Minister Robert Abela. The company has no experience in waste management.

While the Public Contracts Review Board dismissed Hitachi-Terna’s objections, the Court of Appeal has ruled that the company was right in its appeal filed by lawyers Adrian Delia and Matthew Paris.

It ruled that PCRB board members Kenneth Swain and lawyer Vincent Micallef had a conflict of interest. The court  also pointed to Stephanie Scicluna Laviera, who was involved in the tender evaluation committee.

The court annulled the decision to award the contract to Paprec Energies International – BBL Malta, including Bonnici Bros.

The company’s lawyer, PN MP Adrian Delia, told The Shift that public tendering in Malta needed “a robust shakeup.”

“We need assurances that our boards at all levels are independent and autonomous. We need to have the comfort that public purse spending is rigorously and jealously safeguarded to ensure good governance at all stages,” he added.

Hitachi-Terna was the second-place bidder. The company fought the decision, which was controversial from the start.

The public tender, one of the largest to be issued, was awarded in October to a French-Maltese consortium comprising energy company Paprec and construction contractors Bonnici Group.

Issues were first raised when the financial offers were revealed before negotiations were concluded. This move led several bidders to cry foul, labeling the process “irregular”.

Hitachi-Terna also argued that the Paprec-Bonnici consortium’s offer was not financially feasible and claimed conflicts of interest by members of the PCRB board.

The Tribunal (PCRB) dismissed the complaint but the Court of Appeal has ruled in favour of Hitachi-Terna.

The Environment Ministry awarded the €600 million tender for an incinerator facility at Magħtab through the Department of Contracts after “mistakenly” divulging sensitive financial information about the bidders while negotiations were ongoing.

The French Paprec Energies consortium, in which Bonnici Group has a 40% stake, secured the recommended bidder status for the construction and operation of the plant for 20 years, beating two other final bidders.

Malta’s Bonnici Group is the only Maltese shareholder among the bidders.

Lawyer and PN MP Adrian Delia stressed the need for transparency in public procurement following the decision: “We need to ensure that transparency in public procurement is continuously ascertained and a level playing field guaranteed. Otherwise, the whole system remains bursting through the seams and faulting the public and country.”

                           

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Carmelo borg
26 days ago

Prosit ADRIAN int trid kun

Cikku Poplu
Cikku Poplu
26 days ago

Dak kien jonqos.€600 miljun mohlija !

Joseph
Joseph
25 days ago

Bonnie close to Robert Abela were also close to others during the PN administration.
These form part of the usual ” cowboys” the group of public tender contractors that make up the Cartel that rules.
This category or handful of companies of which the notorious ” Caqnu” makes part are the ones that challenge laws and legislations and get away with it because they hold the goverment members in their pockets

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