Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lavalin dubs CAG report as 'error-filled'

Thiruvananthapuram: Adding a new dimension to the controversy over the SNC Lavalin graft case, in which CPI-M Kerala unit secretary Pinarayi Vijayan has figured prominently, the Canadian company has questioned the CAG's findings that the state did not benefit from the contract awarded to it to renovate three hydroelectric projects in 1998

In its first reaction after the CBI sought to prosecute Vijayan, who was power minister when the deal was signed, Lavalin claimed that through the renovation work,the installed capacity of Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) had been increased by 10 per cent from 112.22 MW to 123.60 MW.

Contradicting the CAG's finding that the state suffered a loss of Rs 374 crore under the deal, Lavalin said in statement
posted in its website that it had saved KSEB Rs 104 crore as the work was carried out without shutting down the power
stations fully.

But it noted there were severe droughts during the period of construction, commissioning and post-commissioning phases
which reduced inflows into hydel reservoirs from 2001-03.

The auditor's report concerning the project appeared to have been prepared during this period when power generation
was low due to forces beyond its control. PTI

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