Samoa
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An Open Letter to GridMarket

Greetings GridMarket,
Mr CEO Davis.

Your letter addressed openly to the Minister and Parliamentarians dated 8th February 2023. Mr Davis you were coy to address the fullness of the matters as you only defended to a certain extent, but did not elaborate beyond as disclosing further details would show the complexity of why Samoa’s Renewable Energy is being held at ransom by GridMarket.

You stated that the procurement and bidding tenders are fully chosen by EPC & Tender’s Board, GridMarket only “engage to support the procurement and provide advice and guidance” for the procurement processes.

In simple words Gridmarket is merely paper-pushing between the interested Independent Power Producers and EPC/MoF/Tender’s Board. Yet you mentioned GridMarket has already invested “Millions” that have been invested in both Samoa and outside of Samoa to deliver this transformational project.

“….show us your detailed invoice to show the “Millions” already invested in both Samoa and outside of Samoa. To this moment Gridmarket does not have a business license in Samoa, Gridmarket does not have permanent staff based in Samoa..” Please Mr Davis, show us your detailed invoice to show the “Millions” already invested in both Samoa and outside of Samoa. To this moment Gridmarket does not have a business license in Samoa, Gridmarket does not have permanent staff based in Samoa, Gridmarket did not send experts to conduct any form of detailed investigation on Samoa’s power grid, this information was shared to Gridmarket by EPC and you “analysed” this information from EPC in the comfort of your New York cubicle, then basically took the expert-advice offered from EPC engineers and GridMarket stamped it as your expert technical input.

Your statement that “GridMarket were engaged to support the procurement and provide advice and guidance, but we did not control it” -EPC, Ministry of Finance, Tender’s Board and Attorney General’s Office in Samoa are well versed and experienced to conduct the procurement processes themselves.

If the current administration wants to remove your so-called “technical expertise” from involvement between Samoa’s EPC & interested Independent Power Producers, why are you holding Samoa’s Government to USD$100m+ penalty as your paper-pushing/technical expertise is no longer needed?

EDF is the only IPP that agreed to further proceed and GridMarket is lobbying to go ahead because GridMarket’s “compensation” negotiations have been reached with EDF. All expenses borne by EDF (which include GridMarket’s compensation) will be billed to EPC via tarrif and then on to the consumers who are the Samoan people.

The question is how much compensation did GridMarket and EDF agree on, how many percentages % of the total project will be paid to EDF to GridMarket at the execution of the project. How many percentages % will EDF pay to GridMarket over the course of the Power Purchase Agreement (20~25 years). GridMarket sits in your New York cubicle and push-papers yet receive huge amounts of money from the consumers of EPC.

“This is just speculation but we are now curious who are the local Samoans that have been very smart to stay below the radar, and benefiting from GridMarket’s involvement in the procurement process.”

There was no “Tender Bidding” by the former administration that allowed GridMarket to come to Samoa to offer procurement expertise, out of the blue a MOU was signed. Now this administration can understand that to achieve Clean Energy and Renewable Energy target for Samoa, GridMarket’s involvement is absolutely non-essential. The MOU role for GridMarket was to “advise”, however this administration no longer requires your advice but you make a big fuss and say to terminate your services requires a multimillion payoff.

The B737 deal that was done by the previous administration, undone by the current administration as not-feasible, there was no such extreme penalty. However the actual airplane – B737, in Samoa Airways livery, was enroute to Samoa before it was returned, where the current administration managed to resolve that issue.

Yet neither EDF nor GridMarket have any offices, nor business licenses, nor staff, nor assets built in Samoa, but say “millions” have been invested, and millions are needed to be paid off to you if Samoa no longer wants to work with you.

Mr Davis, please send us your invoice of expenses you have spent on Samoa so we can reimburse your losses and leave Samoa to proceed with our procurement processes, we are well experienced to do this ourselves.

Samoa would be the second Pacific nation to drop your services, please help us move forward by leaving us be; and also tell us who are the Samoans that are behind GridMarket.

A AV
Samoa

Editor’s Note: The writer of this Letter requested for anonymity.