Up to $300 million in additional federally funded infrastructure projects have been approved by the Obama Administration across the republic—the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, that is.
Obama through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) last week revealed that the Pakistan Infrastructure Program Management Services program over the next five years will dole out awards for various projects each valued in the $5-$50 million range.
Continuing a growing trend of excluding U.S. companies from competing for USAID contracts, this infrastructure program explicitly limits awards to local—meaning Pakistani—firms.
According to documents that Patriot Update located via routine database research, USAID justifies such limitations based on international objectives agreed upon in the Paris Declaration of Aid Effectiveness. This declaration, which various nations agreed to at a 2005 forum in France, supports the notion that aid donors should “promote the use of local and regional procurement.”
USAID further noted in the current procurement notice that “local firms are best able to deal with the security and other country-specific challenges in Pakistan.”
The agency chose three companies for consideration of these “indefinite quantity contracts,” or IQCs: Lahore-based Echo West International Private Limited and Izhar Constructions Private Limited; the Islamabad-based Qavi Engineers Private Limited; and the Karachi-based EA Consulting Private Limited.
The companies will provide a multitude of planning engineering, and construction services for small- to large-scale energy and power, transportation, vertical structures, water and sanitation, and water resources projects.
USAID in yet another recent procurement awarded $65 million contract aimed at improving the Pakistani energy sector. Advanced Engineering Associates, Inc., of Cambridge, Maryland will lead the USAID Energy Policy Program, which will provide advisement and direct support to the Pakistani Ministry of Water and Power, the Planning Commission, and the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources.
The company among other tasks will assess the viability of proposed power transmission and generation infrastructure projects for which the Obama Administration is considering providing “support.” This would include the deployment of a liquefied natural gas advisor to assist Pakistan “in importing LNG as a short-term solution to add power to the grid.”
The agency also awarded a $60 million contract to the Washington, D.C.-based International Resources Group separately to carry out the agency’s Power Distribution Program in Pakistan. IRG, an affiliate of contracting behemoth L-3, will help improve the performance of Government of Pakistan-owned power companies.
The goals of these and other power-sector reforms include heightened operational efficiency and enhanced creditworthiness, both of which USAID says are aimed at increasing “public and private investment in the entire power system, raising the competitiveness of the economy and improving the quality of life for the population. “
Pakistan Infrastructure Program Management Services, Solicitation #SOL-391-12-000025.
Echo West International Private Limited IQC
Izhar Constructions Private Limited IQC
Qavi Engineers Private Limited IQC
EA Consulting Private Limited IQC
Power Distribution Program, Contract Award #AID-EPP-I-13-03-00006-09
Energy Policy Program, Contract Award #AID-391-TO-12-00002-02 https://www.fbo.gov/?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=26c8c49a55c45a524e2c2d9d82b1838c&tab=core&_cview=0