Paraguay's national procurement department (DNCP) has suspended a tender for the US$88mn Chaco potable water pipeline project due to irregularities in the bidding rules, according to DNCP.
The participation of bidders was limited by the rules' excessive requirements, such as bidders having to demonstrate 4Mm3 of excavation experience in a 10-year period, despite the project requiring less than 500,000m3 of excavation work, local daily ABC reported.
"Under no circumstances should the convener demand more experience than that which the project requires," ABC quoted a DNCP document as saying.
The public works and communications ministry (MOPC), which is in charge of the tender, will be unable to open bids until the necessary modifications have been made. Offers were originally planned to be opened Wednesday (Dec 21).
The project is being financed by a US$60mn grant from the Spanish cooperation fund for water and sanitation in Latin America and the Caribbean, and a US$20mn loan from IDB. An additional US$8mn will be sourced locally.
Work will be carried out in two stages. The first is budgeted at US$40mn and includes building a 202km potable water pipeline from Puerto Casado to Loma Plata, according to a presidential release.
The second stage involves building distribution networks and sanitation systems in Filadelfia, Neuland, Villa Choferes del Chaco, Cruce Los Pioneros, Manuel Irala Fernández and Lolita.
Additional work includes building storage tanks, pumping stations, indoor plumbing, rainwater capture and storage systems, and solutions for low-income and indigenous communities.
The project aims to expand drinking water coverage to the country's eastern region, benefiting some 190,000 people.