By Saman Indrajith
More than USD 20 million had been obtained as commissions from foreign companies involved in the constructing of Norochcholai Power plant by the leaders of the former government, Power and Renewable Energy State Minister Ajith P. Perera told Parliament yesterday.
State Minister Perera said evidence had surfaced from international investigations into certain irregularities involving the power plant, he said.
The State Minister claimed that there had been no irregularities recorded in the 11 tenders awarded by the present government for supplying coal to the CEB.
Answering a question from UNP MP Nalin Bandara with regard to a company named Nobel Resource Limited which was involved in supplying coal to CEB, State Minister Perera said that USD 366.353 mn had been paid to a quantity of MT 4,585, 670 supplied by this company to the CEB without any standard tender procedure.
According to Perera, the Nobel Resource Limited supplied 4,585,670 MT of coal to the CEB from 2010 to 2015. The tender had been awarded with special cabinet approval without proper procedures being followed.
Perera said that there was an ongoing investigation into the transactions as regards the questionable coal supplies. The CEB trade unions had reported the matter to the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, he added.
Perera said Norochcholai Coal Power Station operations had been interrupted for 24 days for want of coal from Sept. 28, 2011 to Oct. 23, 2011. The loss pertaining to the disturbance amounts to Rs. 3,500 mn, he said.
Another Rs. 12,500 mn loss had been recorded due to same reason during 2014 and 2015, State Minister Perera said.
He also said there were no local representatives separately in respect of tenders numbered LCC/09/T/02, LCC/01 and LCC/13T/01 secured by the Nobel Resources Limited.