'Twin Towers' top bidder disqualified
By Ted Chen ,The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The bid for the “Taipei Twin Towers” development resulted in an upset yesterday, with the inability of the forerunning bidder Taipei Gateway International Development Co. Ltd. (TGID, 太極雙星) to fulfill stipulated terms rendering the contract nullified, according to officials in Taipei.
February 23, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
The development's contract stipulates that funds equal to 3 percent of total construction costs, or NT$1.89 billion, must be wired to a designated bank account for Taipei's Department of Rapid Transit Systems (DORTS, 台北捷運工程局) by midnight Feb. 22, which did not take place.
At 11:42 p.m. on Feb. 22, TGID faxed in a proof of fund transfer stating that two wires of US$50 million had been made.
However, yesterday morning the DORTS received word from Fubon Bank (富邦銀行) that there is no sign of the funds.
DORTS Commissioner Richard Chen (陳樁亮) yesterday stated that his responsibility for the failed deal will be determined by Taipei City Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌).
However, when prompted at another event, Hau yesterday declined to comment on the situation, stating that all public announcements on the subject will be made by the DORTS.
Chen also said that an investigation will be launched to determine if TGID is guilty of forgery.
According to Chen, TGID's attempt to explain the circumstances of the shortfall of funds over the phone yesterday morning was rejected by the DORTS, as such discussion is moot after the dissolution of contract.
The bidding process will continue with the runner-up bidder BES Constructions (BES, 中華工程), with identical contract terms, said Chen, adding that if BES retracts its bid then the project will move on to the third bidder in line. Chen pledged that the most stringent of standards will be enforced.
As of noon yesterday, a spokesperson from TGID could not be reached for comment.
Taipei City Councilor Angela Ying (應曉薇) stated that according to unnamed construction company executives, the terms of the Twin Towers project represent a challenge few entities are willing and capable of taking on.
According to Ying's sources, the terms stipulate that the developer may not sell any portion of the “Twin Towers” for 20 years. In addition, developers must be capable of handing over NT$20 billion to the Taipei City Government, which represents a commitment of NT$35 billion with interest payments included; a tremendous feat for any enterprise.
Ying concluded that the delay of the deal represents the squandering of public resources, while leading to further losses in political capital for the government in the eyes of the people. Ying urged the government to revise its bidding processes and parameters so that they are functional and fair.
Meanwhile, throughout yesterday's trading session, news of TGID's disqualification drew tremendous volatility to BES shares, with 100 million BES shares changing hands. BES shares closed up 4.21 percent at NT$9.16.
BES yesterday announced that it will proceed to continue with the bidding process with discretion, and will retract all previous lawsuits against the Taipei City Government concerning this matter.