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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 26 April 2015

How fake firm won Sh2.5billion KPA cranes tender with trickery

 Mombasa port is yet again engulfed in another tendering scandal involving the procurement of heavy machinery at the port estimated at of Sh2.5 billion for the manufacture, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of two newly built ships to shore gantry cranes.
     Caught in the scam is the managing director Gichiri Ndua, suspended cabinet secretary Michael Kamau and principal secretary Nduva Muli. Names featuring in the scam are those of operations manager captain Twalib Khamis, James Atonga and one Samata now overseeing the Lamu port construction. The procurement boss Yobes Oyaro and his junior Nyarandi Joseph have been named in the mega scam.
    It is claimed that the Kenya Ports Authority’s procurement team is hellbent on making millions for each official involved and that the team will stop at nothing to make the millions from anyone willing to spend, so as to be favoured in the tender process of their choice. That too means the procurement does not care, what equipment one will supply as long as it will have the looks of the original designs even if they will not last long enough or function.
      Such is what transpired when a German manufacturer teaming up with a local agent based in Mombasa, were shortchanged and the tender which they were so sure they would be the best bidders, was handed to a bidder who has not been heard off in the equipment supply world.
    Kocks Kranes Manufacturing Company Limited, based in Germany had met all the specifications in the tender but due to the greed by the Kenya Ports Authority engineers, tendering chairman, the procurement manager and Kamau, whose son allegedly created a fake company to supply the cranes, and hijacked the process and were awarded the tender in controversial manner that has since seen the local agent pass through frustrations to force him and his German counterpart to drop a quest to have the tender redone.
     According to documents obtained by Weekly Citizen while investigating this tender scandal indicate that Liebherr Container Cranes Limited, which won the tender even after failing to meet the requirements as per the tender documents, has no capacity of supplying the needed gantry cranes let alone manufacturing one. Liebherr Cranes Limited is not a legitimate firm with local agents in Kenya but a fake company brought about allegedly to help Kamau’s son earn billions from the Kenya Ports Authority to be shared by the KPA management and the procurement officials. Also caught up in the scam is Atonga.
       The tender process in which Liebherr Cranes Limited was awarded the Sh2.5 billion gantry crane tender, experts say, was full of anomalies that are not acceptable in procurement process involving public money like it is the case in the KPA finances where due diligence is the norm. The anormalies include conflict of interest,
failure to conclude the technical drawings during submission of bid documents, non disclosure of local agent legitimate company and directors which is mandatory, nomination of a nondirector as the director of Altair Limited, a fake company purported to be the local agent, failure to include a guarantee for supply of spares for ship to shore gantry cranes for 10 years that was also mandatory.
    Other aspects include period of supply strictly pegged at 16 months while Liebherr offered to supply at 16 months, three weeks and six days which is 67 weeks as compared to Kocks Kranes which had given 64 weeks as their supply period time.
      A fake financial offer was given as evidence of substitution as it did not relate to formal financial offer as prepared by Liebherr and it also did not conform to the regulations of the tendering as per the bid document. Others included no serialisation, no original Liebherr letter head like the rest of the financial offers, no indication of the country of origin, no pricing of items, letter not typed by Article 13.6 section (III) of instructions to tenders.
     It emerges that the signatory name was handwritten in contravention of article 20.2 section III.
The technical offer by Liebherr did not meet the demands of KPA technical team.
      It is imperative to note that KPA demanded for an U8/Q3/A8 heavy duty 65 tonnes 4 million cycles ability ship to shore gantry cranes.
But instead, Liebherr Cranes offered to supply a U7/Q2/A7 Light Duty 65 tonnes 2 million cycles ability as opposed to the Kocks Kranes 65 tonnes U8/Q3/A8.
    For the Kenya Ports Authority procurement team to accept such an offer which is far much different from what they had asked for in the tendering document, it is a clear indication that the only thing that stands in between any supplier and the KPA management is how much one is ready to spend on the KPA engineers and all those involved including then cabinet secretary transport.
That means that should the supplier deliver the cranes, they are bound to be in service for a short period of time as opposed to the original specification, though there are all signs of all manner of danger in using the cranes to be supplied by the firm which are meant for heavy duty lifting but standing on rather weak bearings.
       Such is what transpired in the earlier cranes supplied in 2009 all the way to 2012, most of these cranes at the port which are new, are unable to work a few years after being installed because someone tampered with the specifications, going for much cheaper Chinese cranes and diverting billions of public money to offshore accounts for their benefits.
      Some of the anomalies that even a layman would have picked out of the offer by this fake firm created to make billionaires while his dad was still in office at the Transport ministry follows in the documents from Liebherr Cranes.
Specifications spell danger all through should their cranes be allowed to be installed at the port.  Comparison Technic KPA tender - Liebherr STS 
    KPA Specification No.   7.1.2 Item 6 KPA specification: Heavy lift cargo up to weight of up to 75 tonnes with a hook beam attached to the headlock.  Liebherr: Hook beam SWL 70 tonnes 
      The hook beam is only designed for 70 tonnes instead 75 tonnes like the demands in the KPA specification. 19.3 Trolley travel acceleration time w/rated load:  Liebherr:
KPA specification:   6 s   5 s. The acceleration mentioned in the Liebherr specification is to slow!  
19.5 factors concerning wheel loads and spacing KPA specification: The maximum wheel loads shall be 500kN during extreme adverse out of service loading (storm anchors engaged) and not more than 400kN during normal in service loading. It is therefore not expected that designs where wheels smaller than 0.8metre diameter and spaced at less than 1.2 metre centres set on less than a 10 wheel bogie will meet the above criteria.
      Liebherr offer:  wheel diameter 0.63m and wheel spacing waterside 1.2 m and landside 1.0 m. On waterside 10 wheel bogie and on landside  eight wheel bogie. 
     The Liebherr declaration was much smaller wheels like the demands in the KPA specification. It can lead to problems with pressure between wheel and rail.  On landside 8 wheel bogie does not fit the KPA specification!
20.3 Liebherr: 
KPA specification:  lifting capacity under spreader single mode  50t  50t,   lifting capacity under spreader twin mode  65t   65t Structural classification FEM 1998   U7/Q2/A7  U8/Q3/A8  Mechanism Classification  - Main hoist     T6/L2/M6  T8/L3/M8  - Boom hoist     T3/L2/M3  T4/L3/M5  - Long Travel     T4/L2/M4  T4/L3/M5  - Trolleytravel    T6/L2/M6  T8/L3/M8  
U7 = 2 million cycles for  lifetime, refer to FEM 1.001 3.Edition 1998.10.01 Booklet 2 page 2-5 U8 = 4 million cycles for Lifetime   
The Liebherr declaration does not fulfill the KPA specification. The crane is from the concept only designed for the half lifetime!
21. Mechanical specification
All bearings used on the entire crane shall be of high quality manufacture from reputable firms preferably SKF, TIMKEN or FAG.    In the Liebherr offer, there is only mention bearings designed after DIN Standard, but not announced the high end German bearings.  
23.1 Boom hoisting motion 23.1 mechanisms
The hinged boom will be raised by means of two independent steel wire ropes, placed or revved between the pulleys on the hinged boom and those on the front kingpost. One part of each rope to be coiled on a barrel arranged in the machinery house, situated on the fixed boom girders burst.  As with the main hoist mechanism, the barrel will be steel fabrication with, right and left hand grooves, and accommodation for all the rope in a single layer. 
Offer Liebherr: The boom hoist drum is a fabricated steel double compartment drum with “Lebus” multi layer type grooving.
A Lebus multilayer system means the rope are laying on the ropes beneath. The demand in the KPA specification is a single layer system means all rope windings laying beside the other. The main different is, the lifetime from ropes on a multilayer system is only approximately 10pc from a single layer system.  
39 Auxiliary drives (General) Auxiliary single speed AC drive systems shall be provided to allow safe slow speed operation of various functions by maintenance personnel if a main drive or main power supply malfunctions.
      The auxiliary drives shall be configured for maximum reliability and safety and operate regardless of any main control system failure if electrical power from the main high voltage transformers is available or if the crane is powered by an external maintenance power supply. Mechanical drives of the emergency units may be mechanically disconnected from the primary equipment during normal crane operation, but, when needed, shall be capable of quick and convenient engagement by means of quick disconnect couplings or similar devices. The auxiliary drives shall utilise dedicated motors for each function, preferably with jaw clutch type couplings without chain drives. Each auxiliary drive motor shall be equipped with a motor mounted adequately sized disc brake which shall operate in conjunction with the primary brakes. Auxiliary drives for main hoist and boom hoist shall include appropriate over speed shut down features. 
The contractor shall provide a means of powering the drive through portable generator from the bottom of the crane.
       Hoist drive 39.3 auxiliary boom hoist drive 39.4 auxiliary trolley drive
In the offer from Liebherr, there is nothing mentioned like emergency drives, therefore not available! These drives are complex, expensive and nowadays for bigger ports where necessary.
41.1 Spreader: Each crane shall be provided with a twin-twenty telescopic automatically adjustable container lifting spreader, preferably Bromma, or similar high quality equivalent, designed to handle fully loaded 20ft, twin 20ft and 40ft ISO containers and will have a SWL of 50 tonnes for 40ft single lift and 65 tonnes for twin 20ft. 
      The centre twist locks housings shall be retracted (raised) when not in use. When in twin lift mode, the centre twist lock housings centre gap is to be adjustable from 0 to 1600mm.  
     The spreader shall have its own electrical and hydraulic system, preferably with hydraulic components manufactured by Vickers, Rexroth or similar high quality equivalent.  
     This equipment shall be designed to withstand shock, adequately protected from physical damage, shock and vibration caused by severe the service environment. 
Twistlocks will be actuated by hydraulic cylinders through simple but robust linkage. Cylinders and linkages will be protected from damage by design and be easily accessible for maintenance. Twist lock replacement procedures should be quick and simple. 
      Gather guides located at the corners of the spreader frame will be operated by hydraulic actuators and serve to centralise the spreader over the container. The guide arms will be made of spring steel and have an effective gather range of 140mm. The guides will be arranged to operate either in pairs or individually, by selection. 
     Twist locks will not engage or disengage unless the spreader is correctly located in the container and unlocking must not be possible when the container is suspended. Suitable interlocks must also ensure that all four twist locks are either engaged or disengaged before hoisting can take place. 
The spreader will extend, contract between all stations viz 20ft, twin 20ft, and 40ft automatically at the operator’s selection, as will the operation of twist locks and gather guides. 
The spreader functions shall be PLC controlled. 
The spreader will be complete with a total hydraulic unit containing power pack, electric motor, pressure compensated pump, pressure relief valve, hydraulic oil reservoir, filters, breather and filler connection. A weatherproof multi-pin socket will be arranged to receive the power cable. The spreader status i.e. length, twist lock and gather guide position hydraulic pump running and power on/off will be displayed in the drivers cabin. 
      A mechanism, with visual indicator, in the operators’ cabin, shall be provided to enable the spreader to slew 50, about the vertical axis. 
Liebherr offer:  Each crane will be equipped with a Telescopic Spreader Model STS 45/2940 (or equivalent) allowing the handling of 20ft, 40 ft, 45 ft and 2 x 20ft. containers. Note: An ultrasonic sensor is fitted to the spreader to slow down the speed of the spreader as it approaches a container. The spreader is supplied with twin twenty detection and shock absorbing systems.
      If the demands from the KPA specification will be fulfilled, nobody knows it from that text in the Liebherr specification exact! 
55.3 Boom hoist breaks 
The boom hoist to be fitted with normally on automatic, failsafe, service AC thruster disc brakes of Bubenzer type or similar equivalent. A brake disc to be provided and is to be fitted with a Bubenzer thruster brake or similar equivalent. In addition an automatic, spring applied, hydraulic released multi-disc emergency brake to be fitted on the boom hoist barrel.  
Liebherr offer: The primary brake is a failsafe, Eldro Thruster drum-type, spring applied, electro-hydraulically- released unit. 
The type of brakes are total different, drum brakes are not so efficient as disc brakes and much cheaper to buy. Disc brakes are technic from nowadays, drum brakes are technical from the past!
      55.5 Gantry travel brakes
Each gantry travel drive motor to be fitted with a normally on automatic, fail-safe, spring applied, electrically released solenoid disc brake. The brakes to be fitted to a non-drive end shaft extension. The brakes to be IP55 rated, and with manual release lever. 
Liebherr offer: Each long travel driven wheelbox has a separate travel brake.