By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
The government plans to select the winning bidder for the New Providence landfill management contract by June 25, a Cabinet minister said yesterday.
Romauld Ferriera, pictured, minister of the environment and housing, said a 'Letter of Award' would be issued to the preferred bidder by that date, followed by an executed agreement.
He told the House of Assembly during the 2018/2019 Budget debate: "At present all administrative processes are being finalised to permit the Government to issue a Letter of Award, and to execute the agreement with the selected bidder, by June 25, 2018. As it stands, in the upcoming Budget year the New Providence sanitary landfill will come under private management."
Mr Ferreira said 17 bidders submitted Expressions of Interest (EoI) for the New Providence landfill, but just seven qualified for the Request for Proposals (RFP) round. Four out of the seven firms responded and paid the registration fee.
Those firms included Bahamas WTP Ltd; Bahamas Waste; Providence Advisors and the Waste Resources Development Group; and APAPA International (Nassau). Mr Ferreira said APAPA International's submission was received after the closing date of April 9, 2018, at 4pm, resulting in its bid being summarily rejected by the Tenders Board.
The Government has allocated just over $1.3 million towards entering into an agreement with the selected bidder. "It is our heartfelt desire that the improvements soon to be implemented will address once and for all the ongoing concerns that have made the landfill a serious national priority," said Mr Ferreira.
Cedric Scott, the actor, producer and uncle of former Cabinet minister, Jerome Fitzgerald, is listed by Bahamas WTP LTD's website as one of its five principals. Its two other Bahamas-based principals are banker, Ivylyn Cassar, and permanent resident, Fay Russell. The company's physical address is listed as Ms Cassar's Equity Bank & Trust, based in western New Providence.
Bahamas WTP is a consortium that also features two US companies, Delaware-incorporated Ameresco Ltd and Louisiana-based Furnace and Tube Services Inc.
Bahamas Waste is the BISX-listed company of the same name, while Providence Advisors is headed by the well-known local investment banker, Kenwood Kerr. His partner, Waste Resources Development Group, features all the other Bahamian waste disposal groups bar Bahamas Waste.
Meanwhile, addressing the issue of renewables, Mr Ferreira said: "It remains our aim to incorporate renewables into the national grid, aiming for 30 per cent by 2030. In support of renewable energy generation, improving residential energy efficiency and promoting sustainable development, my Ministry is currently finalising a plan that would make renewable energy installations mandatory with the construction of new homes within government subdivisions."
"This plan will require that all homes install solar water heaters. A tier system is being developed that will outline the required percentage of energy that needs to be generated from renewable technology to the home's square footage. To assist homeowners with financing the shift to energy efficient appliances, my ministry will look at current duty rates and will also engage local banks and businesses to explore incentive options."