Picture: KARPOWERSHIP
Picture: KARPOWERSHIP

DNG Energy, a losing bidder for state contracts to supply emergency power, made fresh corruption allegations against a winning bidder, Karpowership, and a Department of Mineral Resources & Energy official.

In an October 12 supplementary affidavit to court papers, the first of which were filed in April, SA-based DNG alleged that businesspeople who are now partnering Turkey’s Karpowership approached the company’s CEO seeking a bribe. In exchange, they would ensure that DNG won a contract, DNG CEO Aldworth Mbalati said in the papers, adding that he spurned their offer.

“It is clear that even at a rudimentary level that some sort of agreement was entered into between the fifth respondent”, Karpowership, and the businessmen, he said. That was “in return for a stake in the fifth respondent, as was the proposal to DNG, which I declined”.

Powergroup SA, Karpowership’s local partners, and Karpowership denied the allegations.

DNG’s case, along with environmental challenges, has made the plan to secure 2,000MW of emergency power by August next year unlikely. The deadline for financial close of the projects, initially set for July 31, has been extended until the end of January and DNG’s case will be heard at the end of November.

This means relief from load-shedding will be delayed.

Karpowership, a Turkish company that operates gas-fired plants from ships, won the bulk of the government contracts. Other successful bidders include Scatec and Electricite de France.

Mbalati made earlier allegations against energy department officials, saying they attempted to secure a bribe for him in return for helping him secure a contract. Those allegations were denied and the Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (IPPP) said DNG was disqualified because its bids fell short of requirements.

Mbalati, in his October 12 statement, also questioned how a Department of Mineral Resources & Energy official could afford the assets he owns on his salary.

The department did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Bloomberg News. More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

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