As Myanmar tries to diversify its dependence on China with all things infrastructure, the country is being invaded by Chinese companies to build the one of the most important infrastructure pieces needing to move the country forward. To say the bidding process for this billion-dollar solar tender has been a mess is an understatement. Firstly originally the Ministry of Electricity and Energy gave companies only 1 month to submit bids. This is a short time table for even normal periods let alone during the no travel restrictions brought on by COVID-19. Because there was an uproar among investors, the deadline was extended.
It has been a shock to many that so many bids have come in. Why? Bidders would have to have already secured land to be able to big on the project. This means foreign companies had to secure land during a time that no one can travel. And yes there are over 150 bids on 30 sites. The overwhelming majority of the bids have been from Chinese companies.
Private Chinese firm Sungrow was the largest bidder as they submitted bids for 24 of the 30 sites. State-owned company China Machinery Engineering Corporation and Datang Power each submitted more than 10 bids. Still companies will have to meet the technical criteria. The winning bidder will be selected from among qualified bidders based on price alone, which to many is a flaw in the tender design.
Within a weeks time the winning bidders will be announced.