By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
STELLAR Waste To Energy Bahamas Ltd, the company proposing to build a $650 million waste-to-energy plant on New Providence, has launched a legal attack over its failure to obtain a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and other associated documents which would enable the company to proceed with the project, according to court filings seen by Tribune Business.
Two years ago, the company was thrust into the public spotlight after controversy erupted over the signing of Stellar’s now-expired Letter of Intent (LOI) by the former Ministry of Works parliamentary secretary, Renward Wells. The saga ultimately led to his dismissal from Government.
Mr Wells, an engineer by profession, subsequently admitted in Parliament that he had signed the LOI with Stellar Energy in order to allow the company “to carry out studies” free of charge to present to Cabinet. While the company has since sought to move on from the controversy, it is now taking legal action and is seeking compensation for loss and damages to the company’s reputation suffered in connection with the highly-publicised saga.
Mr Wells, the firm of Allen, Allen & Co, the Ministry of Works and Urban Development, the Attorney General and Frank Forbes (Sigma Holdings Ltd) are all listed as defendants in the matter.
According to the Stellar, the company was “promised by representatives of the Bahamas Government and private individuals, who claimed to represent the Bahamas Government and who have been facilitators in connection with the project”, that a June 30, 2014, MOU for execution by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Development and associated documentation, would be issued to the company.
“The plaintiffs have been awaiting the issuance of the aforesaid Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), and associated documentation for over thirty six months, to enable them to move forward with the project. The Letter of Intent (LOI) was executed by Renward Wells, former Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works & Urban Development, since July 4, 2014.
“The matters complained of and the loss and damages suffered are as a result of inter alia the breach of the implied contract(s) and of the terms and conditions thereof, interference in contract, conspiracy to defraud, attempted circumvention and attempted extortion, by the Defendants jointly and or severally, who made representations with the intent to deceive and with the knowledge that they were false, and/or while having no reasonable basis to believe them to be true, resulting in the Plaintiffs being deprived of an unsubstantiated sum of money, total of which is to be assessed,” the writ of summons stated.