The Request for Qualifications and Proposals (RFP) released by the Department of Energy (DoE) in respect of the Coal Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (CIPPPP) introduces a new Part D which relates to affected projects.

The RFP allows a bidder to inform the DoE of any project in which it is involved which is experiencing or will experience difficulties in either connecting to the relevant transmission or distribution system or in obtaining water use rights and the prospective bidder is unable to overcome such difficulties (an affected project).

Part D provides that a bidder who owns an affected project can submit certain information to the DoE so that the DoE may, at its discretion, review the information to determine what, if any, interactions the DoE could undertake on behalf of the affected project to assist it, and whether the DoE will in fact assist an affected project respondent to address any of these issues, although the DoE gives no undertaking in this regard.

The information to be provided by an affected project respondent includes:

  • details of the location of the project sites and the contracted capacity of the facility;
  • a detailed description of the type, quality and source of coal that an affected project respondent intends to use in an affected project;
  • details of the amount, type and quality of water required;
  • details of potential water sources that could possibly be available to the affected project;
  • details of the estimated timeframe within which the water supply will be required;
  • a detailed description of any constraints or disruptions relating to the supply of water to the affected project;
  • the location and co-ordinates of the substation where the affected project respondent intends to connect its facility; and
  • a description of the type and size of connection that the affected project respondent requires.

The submission of an affected project request will not affect a bidder’s ability to submit a bid response at any time under the RFP. To the extent that the DoE does attempt to assist an affected project, however, it does not provide any undertaking that any interactions will have the effect of enabling an affected project to submit a bid response for the first bid submission under the CIPPPP.

Important to note is the apparent conflict in the RFP relating to the date for submission of an affected project request. Clause 16 of Part A suggests that submission must occur by 2 February 2015, while clause 3.1.1 of Part D references 23 February 2015. The DoE will need to clarify this perceived conflict soon.