Allegations of bribery and bid-rigging surrounding a 2012-2013 competitive solicitation process for power generation were “completely unfounded,” according to a statement released by the Cayman Islands Electricity Regulatory Authority Thursday afternoon.
The authority reported that the Anti-Corruption Commission looked into accusations made by former ERA managing director Joey Ebanks after he was arrested over allegations of stealing from the authority and forging checks.
Ebanks was recently sentenced to two years and three months imprisonment after pleading guilty to the thefts.
“The ERA board of directors promised the public that it would commission an independent review of the solicitation process to determine if there had been any wrongdoing,” the authority’s statement noted.
“The Anti-Corruption Commission, with the full cooperation of the ERA, has completed a thorough investigation of the previous bid process and specifically the allegations of impropriety made by [Mr. Ebanks] and concluded that the allegations were completely without merit.” The authority blamed the “spurious allegations” made by Ebanks for delays in last year’s competitive bidding process.
A new request for proposals was issued to five pre-qualified bidders, as well as Caribbean Utilities Company. Earlier this month, CUC, Dart Enterprises Real Estate Ltd. and the Louis Berger Group submitted bids, the authority stated.
“Between them, these three bidders have submitted a total of six proposed firm power alternatives involving four different fossil fuels – namely liquefied propane gas, compressed natural gas, diesel oil and heavy fuel oil,” the statement indicated.
The authority set a July date for completion of evaluation of bids. The new power generation is expected to come on line in 2016.