Local August 17, 2015 | 4:57 pm

In Dominican Republic- Odebrecht scandal, utility chief forgets Americans

Dominican Republic.- TheCEO of Dominican Republic´s State-owned electric utility(CDEEE) on Mondaydefended the call for tenders for two coal plants now under construction, butwhen asked if natural gas options had been offered, apparently forgot at leasttwo proposals from U.S.- based companies.

Ruben Jimenez Bicharasaid 54 companies took part in the bidding process and once concluded, ¨no oneobjected,” again omitting a challenge by china Group Gezhouba Ltd, CGGC, whichled promoted the Superior Administrative Tribunal (TSA) to halt the tenderprocess, stressing that for the first time in which any of the discarded companiescalls a call for tenders transparent.

He showed however twoletters he affirms were sent by the Chinese, one lauding the process and anotherdistancing itself from the investigation by Brazil.

Interviewed by MatinoZapete and Edith Febles on ColorVision Channel 9, the official said someone inthe country sent documents to Brazil to include the Dominican project in theinternational probe into alleged corruption by the company Odebrecht, whichbuilds the two coal-fired plants at Punta Catalina (south).

"There is alocal party who tried to bribe the Chinese with 17 million and they refused,”Jimenez Bichara said, but didn’t specify currency. “Dominican courts found nolegal basis in the process launched by local companies against the tender."

Forgotten Americans

Jimenez Bicharafailed to mention the two offers for natural gas-fired power plants, the firstby the California-based North Energy Central (NEC) for a turnkey project in Manzanillo,and the second by Chenier Energy, of Louisiana, in an undisclosed location.

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