Saturday, December 16, 2017

Rowley urges PM to stop SIS contract

Parliament to debate WASA project


bid overpriced: Dr Keith Rowley

Mark Fraser

 The Parliament debates today the motion filed by Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley, calling on Government to stop the award of the Beetham Waste Water Treatment Plant to the Super Industrial Services-led consortium. The consortium includes Foster Wheeler and Hyflux.

The Express learned Government had originally planned to hold this week’s Cabinet meeting in Tobago but had to shelve those plans after attempts to have this debate held at an earlier date were unsuccessful. 

The Government has periodically held Cabinet meetings in the sister isle.

The motion notes the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) has determined there is to be a waste water treatment plant at the Bee­tham Water Treatment Estate and WASA has passed the process for the selection of a contractor to the National Gas Company (NGC). 

It notes the process has resulted in NGC selecting a contractor whose price is millions above the nominal low bidder among competent contractors. 

The motion states therefore: “Be it resolved that the House take note of these developments and call upon the Honourable Prime Minister to immediately stop this award and review the overall circumstances to ensure that the public interest is protected and State resources are not stolen or wasted in the arrangements between WASA and NGC with respect to this water project”.

Rowley had written President Anthony Carmona, asking him to intervene by re­­questing an explanation from the Government about this award. 

He said the SIS bid was US$167 million ($1 billion), which was $400 million more than the other bidder, Atlatec. Atlatec’s bid was US$95 million ($600 million). But that company was informed they had failed in their submission.

Energy Minister Kevin Ram­narine said SIS received the highest overall number of points and offered a bid with the best technical and financial advantage to NGC. 

He said although the Atlatec bid was lower, it was subject to higher levels of variability of prices.

The Independent Liberal Party (ILP) has called for a march against SIS and for the contract to be stopped.