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Enemalta explains its fuel procurement procedure

Enemalta this evening explained its fuel procurement process after criticism during a TV programme by journalist Saviour Balzan that it had entered into a purchase agreement with Trafigura up to March.

The corporation said there were very strict rules and procedures which had to be followed by the Fuel Procurement Committee.

"Fuel is purchased through a restricted tendering procedure where an Invitation To Tender is mailed out to all suppliers listed in a specific mailing list. Registration of commercial operators involves sending an application consisting of the corporate profile of the organization together with at least two references of reputable organizations to whom the potential candidate had supplied fuel in the past 24 months," the corporation said.

"The invitation to tender includes a list of instructions which the tenderers must be compliant with and outlines specifications of the fuel such as the quality and quantity of the product, delivery periods, and other requirements such as insurance cover, jurisdiction of contract, payment terms etc.

"A closing date and time is given by which all offers are to be received in a specific mailbox which is created for this purpose. This mailbox is locked by MITA and the password is forwarded before the evaluation session commences. 

"This mailbox containing the offers is opened by the Petroleum Procurement Committee immediately after the tender closing time and the evaluation process commences immediately.  The Committee, made up seven members, evaluates the offers received, taking into considerations criteria listed in the ITT documents received.  Evaluation of invitation to tenders for fuel procurement is concluded in one committee session on the date of tender closure.

"Each offer is evaluated administratively and technically. Compliant bids are ranked and the evaluation then takes the form of a negotiated procedure whereby the committee negotiates via tele-conference with the respective bidders to secure the best deal possible. Contracts are awarded to the most advantageous offer.

"The winning bidder is immediately notified of the tender award verbally by telephone and before the meeting closure, an e-mail is sent out to each unsuccessful bidder. MITA are then notified to reset the password for the mailbox. which will not be disclosed until the following meeting."

Enemalta said the last fuel contract was awarded to Trafigura on December 20, 2012. The tender was for the provision of between 160,000 metric tonnes to 176,000 tonnes divided into eight parcels with a contract period from the fourth week of January and the fourth week of June 2013. Trafigura provided the cheapest offer amongst the companies that fulfilled the criteria requested by the same Invitation to Tender.

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