Official Opposition Leader Philip 'Brave' Davis.
By KHRISNA VIRGIL
Tribune Staff Reporter
DEPUTY Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis yesterday suggested that in the aftermath of Baha Mar’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, investors have shown interest in the cash-strapped West Bay Street resort.
“In matters of this nature you always have people looking for a deal,” Mr Davis said when he was asked if there were any companies eyeing the $3.5 billion project.
While it has been rumoured that The Genting Group, a Malaysian-based corporation, expressed interest in Baha Mar, Mr Davis said he was not in a position to speak about that claim.
Mr Davis also told reporters he was hopeful that a resolution to Baha Mar’s money issues could be met, the resort completed and opened within the next two months.
He went on to defend the Ministry of Works in the face of international news reports, which insinuated that Bahamian building code officials were at fault for shortcomings in the resort’s construction and planning.
Last week, Reuters reported that after interviewing more than 20 contractors, inspectors, Bahamian government officials and executives who have worked on the project, shortcomings in the resort’s construction and planning were revealed.
However, Mr Davis said he was pleased with how his ministry handled its job.
“Inspections would have been done. There is a construction schedule and the contractor is obligated to tell us when we should come to do the inspection.
“If they don’t call us and they go ahead and do works we can require them to demolish what they have done and start over. We can issue orders to ensure that no work is done until the inspection.
“Several stop orders were made during the course of the construction,” he added. “The fact that there was a stop order doesn’t mean anything untoward. It is just that when the inspectors go out they might see something and say, ‘Look we need to stop this until it is corrected or you need to have this in place until you are able to proceed.’”
The Reuters article read: “On-site inspectors, who requested anonymity because they were not authorised to speak, said China Construction (Baha Mar’s general contractor), after falling behind, rushed to schedule inspections as they completed various phases of the project. The company did not return several messages seeking comment.”
The article also quoted Colin Higgs, Ministry of Works permanent secretary, as saying earlier this year that a pipe burst when an interior water system at the resort was tested.
According to Reuters, inspectors and contractors said the broken pipe caused flooding in a fully furnished restaurant at the resort.