Harare Has Cancelled US$465K Mbare Biogas Digester Contract

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Harare Has Cancelled US$465K Mbare Biogas Digester Contract

Harare City Council (HCC) has cancelled the US$465k Mbare biogas digester contract awarded to Synlak (Pvt) Ltd after the company failed to complete the project within set timelines.

The local authority received a grant from the European Union in December 2013 under the non-State actors funding for the construction of a 100-kilowatt biogas project in Mbare.

The plant was meant to convert vegetable waste from the Mbare Musika vegetable market into biogas, NewsDay reported.

Harare awarded the contract to Synlak (Pvt) Ltd in September 2015 and signed a memorandum of agreement for the design and construction of four biogas digesters and the supply, installation and commissioning of a 100kVA biogas generator.

However, Harare cancelled the US$465k Mbare biogas digester contract because Synlak (Pvt) Ltd failed to meet set timelines. 

Appearing before joint Parliamentary Portfolio Committees on Energy and Power Development and Environment,  acting town clerk Phakamile Mabhena-Moyo said:

The contractor failed to perform his obligations at the agreed timelines and the implementation period was extended by mutual consent. The contractor was paid in full (US$465 290) for the execution of the contract between the period September 17, 2015 to June 17, 2016. The contractor again failed to perform his obligations as per the revised timelines.

Mabhena-Moyo said in June 2017, the chamber secretary wrote to the contractor giving them the notice to remedy the breach of contract within 14 days from the date of the receipt of the notice.

Synlak (Pvt) Ltd failed to rectify the breach prompting the local government authority to cancel the contract.

Mabhena-Moyo added that the acting town clerk wrote to the contractor on January 2, 2018, advising him of the cancellation of the contract. Added Mabhena-Moyo:

The city architect carried out an assessment of the work done against payments made, which established that the total value of the work done was US$243 535, suggesting an overpayment of US$221 755.

He told the committees that the chamber secretary was further advised by the director of works to recover the overpayment, which led to the cancellation of the contract since there had been no meaningful progress on site since August 2017.

The contractor wrote to the council in February 2018 after the contract had already been cancelled indicating that the major component required to complete the project was now in the country.

Synlak (Pvt) Ltd requested on October 4, 2018, a price variation and a period of 45 days to complete the project, Mabhena-Moyo said. 

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