Nandipur power project: MD removed after ignoring board’s recommendation

He proposed award of O&M contract to a Malaysian firm

Zafar Bhutta November 02, 2015
The Nandipur company board of directors had rejected the award of contract to the Malaysian firm because of an extremely higher cost. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: At a time when the government was facing scathing criticism over alleged corruption in the Nandipur power project, the managing director of the company running the project tried to ignore a recommendation of the board of directors and award the operation and maintenance contract to a Malaysian firm.

This eventually led to the removal of Nandipur Power Company Managing Director Captain (Retired) Muhammad Mehmood from the slot, officials say.

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Mehmood struggled to press his case after failure to get a positive response from the Ministry of Water and Power to his proposal. He sought Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s green signal in a meeting on October 14 for giving the contract to the Malaysian company.

However, on the intervention of Water and Power Secretary Younus Dagha, the Premier did not reject the decision of the company’s board that had turned down the proposal of the Malaysian firm.

Officials familiar with the development said the water and power secretary and the Nandipur Power Company managing director briefed the prime minister about operational and management issues confronting the Nandipur plant.

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The MD said the power plant had an acute shortage of skilled staff, which was one of the major hurdles in running the project. He suggested that technical manpower from other power generation companies could be deployed at the Nandipur plant to increase the strength from the existing 200 staff members.

However, he cautioned that problems pertaining to operation and maintenance on a sustainable basis would continue to exist.

Mehmood pointed out that the contractor was reluctant to provide services as the Nandipur company board had made it mandatory for the contractor to train the existing manpower.

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“Training and maintenance were two important parts in the operation of the plant,” he remarked. He suggested that operation and maintenance of the plant could be outsourced to a Malaysian company and it was the best proposal in his opinion.

However, the water and power secretary argued that the board of directors had rejected the award of contract to the Malaysian firm because of an extremely high cost. As such, he said, it may not be advisable to overrule the board on the matter.

This led to the sacking of Mehmood and since then the water and power ministry has been able to run the Nandipur plant with the assistance of local teams. The plant is still working.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 3rd, 2015.

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Bisma | 6 years ago | Reply This is not a first project that have a corruption . There are many projects like this.
Parvez | 6 years ago | Reply ....and the person responsible for the Nandipur debacle is enjoying life in Dubai. The fault of zero accountability rests on Nawaz Sharif's shoulders.
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