Government hires electric station for $24 million [Archives:2006/937/Local News]

April 13 2006

SANA'A, April 9 ) The General Electricity Corporation (GEC) announced it signed an agreement with British firm Aggreko PLC last week, under which it will supply Yemen with a 50-megawatt capacity electric station.

According to reports published by Yemeni army mouthpiece 26 September weekly, the electric station, hired for $24 million, is to power Hodeidah province for two years.

“The government is confused about covering the power shortage, as it depends on random work,” Al-Shoura Net quoted MP Shaiban as saying, commenting that the money paid to the British firm should have been used to purchase a new government-owned electric station.

Shaiban attributed the failure of electrical projects to poor management and unwise tender distribution to firms. He added that the government must utilize previous loans for strategic projects to benefit the country, such as electricity, in lieu of spending them on other projects exploited by corrupt officials.

“In the past week, Parliament approved loans worth $177.5 million, most of which is destined to go for buying cars and other expenses far from improving the country's infrastructure,” Shaiban commented.

A parliamentary report revealed that most electrical projects lack financing, while a gas station project and other maintenance expenditures exceed the cost of new stations. Three years ago, the government obtained a grant worth more than $350 million to establish a gas station, a project which has not been started.

The government has been studying the gas station project's implementation in Marib for a year and a half and it has been conducting preliminary surveys for the project for three years.