The call for the supply of 453,600 metric tonnes of palm oil has seen the participation of seven international companies from countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia.
The financial as well as the technical document for the bid was opened simultaneously on April 27, 2015, at the Public Procurement and Property Disposal Service (PPPDS) office at Sidist Kilo along King George VI St.
PPPDS had announced the bid on behalf of Merchandise Wholesale & Import Trade Enterprise (MEWIT) on March 30, 2015 where 75 companies had bought the bidding document.
The procurement is to be made in four lots of three litres, five litres, 20 litres and 25 litres. The supply for the three-litre packed palm oil comprises the largest share of the total amount of the announced palm oil supply, which is 30pc. The second and fourth lots each encompass 25pc of the total amount while the rest is for the procurement of twenty litre packed palm oil.
Six companies have bid for the first and third lots while seven bid for the second and fourth lots.
After the offers go through both technical and financial evaluation, the winner will be announced in about one month, Solomon Betre, procurement head at the PPPDS, responded, when asked by one of the bidders. The award will be in a 60/40 scheme, where the winner will be asked to supply 60pc of the total amount. The bidder that offers the second lowest price will supply the remaining 40pc of the price offered by the winner, he added.
If approved, this will be the second palm oil purchase for MEWIT in this fiscal year. The first was a 300,000mt purchase. Of the total quantity of palm oil purchased, 193,000mt have already arrived in the country and 37,800mt are being distributed weekly across the country, said Melkamu Defali, public relations officer of PPPDS.
The government has been carrying out the procurement of palm oil since May 2011 after it had placed an embargo on private companies importing palm oil following its failure to control the edible oil market with a price cap. The price cap had been introduced on 18 items, including sugar, between January and May 2011.
For the past three weeks, however, the Ministry of Trade (MoT) has been reconsidering the return of private businesses the importation of palm oil. Currently, a study is being carried out to analyse the economic impact of allowing private businesses to import edible oil. The study will first be shared with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED) and the Council of Ministers before any decisions are made, though it has not been stated when.
PPPDS, which is accountable to the Ministry of Finance & Economic Development, was established in 2010. It assists public enterprises in the procurement of goods and services and disposal of assets.