The Taipei City Government’s requirements for signing a contract to build the Taipei Twin Towers (台北雙子星) project are “ludicrous,” BES Engineering Corp said yesterday, accusing the city of setting impossible terms.
The Taipei Twin Towers are to be erected near the Taipei Railway Station to serve as a hub between the future Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport MRT line and Taipei’s other train and MRT lines.
BES Engineering was awarded the contract in November last year after a series of corruption scandals forced the previous winning bidder, Taipei Gateway International Development Co, to withdraw.
After awarding the bid, the city government imposed a set of eight initial review conditions for signing a contract. On Sept. 5, it announced additional conditions, including a requirement that the firm be able to provide all the funding for the project up front, before a contract is signed.
“It is impossible for banks to provide capital under these conditions,” BES Engineering associate vice president Wu Kuo-sen (吳郭森) told a press conference yesterday, calling the city government’s conditions “unheard of.”
Company spokeswoman Tseng Chiung-ying (曾瓊瑩) added that, due to the project’s size, banks could not legally provide total funding prior to the signing of a contract.
She said the government’s demands included financing that the city itself would be obligated to pay BES Engineering. In addition, the city would still require the firm to pay a security deposit, she added.
Accusing the city government of deliberately seeking to force the firm to give up its bid to make room for other bidders, Wu threatened legal action if there is no shift in the city’s stance.
However, Taipei City Department of Rapid Transit Systems Commissioner Tsai Hui-sheng (蔡輝昇) said there is a need for caution.
“There has to be a guarantee that the company has sufficient capital to ensure the project is completed after the contract is signed,” he added.
Tsai said the city had concerns about the firm’s ability to complete the project due to its unwillingness to accept the government’s conditions during earlier discussions.
Tseng said that the firm was unwilling to accept the city’s demand that it pay the city up front for construction work already completed at the buildings’ foundation.
As for the firm’s threat of legal action, Tsai said the project’s bidding conditions allow the city to set review conditions.
Meanwhile, Taipei City Councilor Ying Hsiao-wei (應曉薇) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) criticized the city government’s decision, saying it would delay progress of the project, which is located in the district she represents.
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