The World Bank on May 14 announced the 15-month debarment of Shanghai-based Sieyuan Electric, a company that specializes in research and development relating to electric power technology.

The sanction relates to fraudulent practices under the Inter-Zonal Transmission Hub Project, which was part of the West Africa Power Pool program. The project, which closed in 2018, was partly funded by a financing agreement with Ghana and was designed to improve the security and reduce the cost of the electricity supply to Burkina Faso while also increasing Ghana’s capacity to export electricity.

It was part of a program designed to establish a power-pooling mechanism to increase the affordability and reliability of electricity for citizens of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). According to the World Bank, Sieyuan fraudulently falsified its past contract experience to meet the requirements of a contract under the project.

The debarment makes Sieyuan and its affiliates ineligible to participate in World Bank-financed projects. As part of the settlement agreement, Sieyuan acknowledges responsibility for the underlying sanctionable practices.

The settlement agreement provides for a reduced sanction period due to Sieyuan’s cooperation and voluntary remedial actions, the World Bank Group said. As a condition for release from sanction under the terms of the settlement agreement, the company commits to continue to fully cooperate with the World Bank Group Integrity Vice Presidency.

The debarment of Sieyuan qualifies for cross-debarment by other multilateral development banks (MDBs) under the Agreement for Mutual Enforcement of Debarment Decisions that was signed on April 9, 2010.