HPL Socomec, Phoenix bag CFL supply contract

Shimla: Ending a bitterly contested tendering process, HP State Electricity Board (HPSEB) has finally awarded a major supply contract of 72 lakh compact fluorescent light CFL) bulbs to two companies, HPL Socomec and Phoenix.

While Socomac got a supply order for 40 lakh CFL bulbs, Pheonix 25 lakh bulbs, sources privy to the allotment process disclosed. For a four bulb pack, Socomac had quoted a price of Rs 396 per pack but agreed to lower the price during negotiations. Being the lowest bidder it was awarded a 10 lakh pack order for Rs 387 per pack.

For a matching price, HPSEB board also decided to allot a supply order of 6.3 packs to Phoneix which was the second lowest price bidder among the five that were considered in the bidding tender. Pheonix has been given an option to respond to the government terms by Monday.

To meet a government deadline announced in the budget of 2008, the CFL bulb supply would have to be met within 75 days so that the government could execute the Atal Bijli Bachat Yojna by December 25 by handing out one pack to each household in the state.

Besides the two, five other companies which included Havels India, Surya, Asian and Philips had bid for the CFL supply tender. Philips and another company were dropped during scrutiny as their technical bids did not meet the Bureau of Indian Standards specifications.

The process had to be re-tendered as four companies had formed a cartel by quoting a similar price to debar other companies, much to the embarrassment.

Making the announcement of providing a set of four CFL bulbs free to every household so as to save electricity, chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal had set aside Rs 80 crore for the Atal Bijli Bachat Yojna during the budget speech in March and set out a date to get the scheme fully executed by former prime minister AB Vajpayee’s birthday in December.

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