The first hearing by the National Energy Commission, chaired by Dev Manraj, Senior Adviser to the Prime Minister's Office, promoters CT Power this afternoon could bring to the surface the "incestuous relationship" between the Central Electricity Board and the operator the energy sector. Indeed, members of the Commission Manraj prepare to challenge the presence of representatives of CEB on the panel for the presentation of 100 MW in Pointe-aux-Caves, Albion.
With a stake of up to 26% in the shareholding of CT Power, the CEB is found in the awkward position of judge and jury in the evaluation of this project coal power especially as the General Manager of this institution Shiam Thannoo, who sits on the National Energy Commission (NEC), is also part of the Board of CT Power Mauritius. The work session this afternoon could be as rough as Tuesday if the representatives of Kolektif Lenerzi Renouvelab could decide to enforce their views.
"With the hearing of the promoters of CT Power this afternoon, representatives of CEB will not two but three hats, namely the CEB, CT Power Partner and a member of the NEC. Logic suggests that the role and responsibilities of the CEB are resolved once and for all. This institution can not continue to be judge and party at the same time the power plant project in Pointe-aux-Caves, "says one in circles Kolektif Lernerzi Renouvelab in anticipation of the working session of the day.
The problem of the position of conflict of interest in the implementation of the proposed Central Albion arise in all its sharpness compared to the clause 16 of the conditions of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Licence issued by the Ministry Environment at the end of January. This condition requires the CEB, a shareholder in the project, to endorse the technical design of the project presented by CT Power with CEB as a shareholder. Some argue that if precautionary measures are not taken, the CEB could be exposed to the risk of conflicts of interest under the Prevention of Corruption Act with the Independent Commission Against Corruption initiating an investigation.
However, the situation of the CEB could settle with the Legal Advice sought from the State Law Office by the National Energy Commission in the presence of representatives of CEB on the commission given its financial commitment alongside CT Power. Comments from State Law Office are expected to generate the lines in the observance of good governance.
With the start of this afternoon the presentation of the draft coal fired power station in Albion, members of the commission Manraj hardly conceal their impatience to interview developers CT Power Project. One aspect that will attract the attention for the conditions in clause 15 of the EIA Licence. This clause stipulates that developers must first demonstrate their financial capacity throughout the execution of the project, bank guarantees ranging from Rs 6 billion and Rs 8 billion.
NEC has already done this clause 15 a sine qua non to initiate proceedings. The CEB is also present guidelines stressing that in this instance the absence of details of these financial guarantees, it must refrain from acquiring formal commitments or signing agreements with CT Power to start the project on site of Pointe-aux-Caves.
The meeting of the day and the next may occur under high tension like last Tuesday where the representative of the CEB have skidded against a member of the NEC, who had dared to raise Inconsistencies between background details Energy Intergrated Plan 2013-2022 and projection Microwave Point to the commission.