…says company violated confidentiality agreement
The government says that the Grenada company that was made an offer to build a Marriott Resort and Casino in Georgetown, has violated a confidentiality agreement.
The disclosure by the company surprised the government, with the Head of the Privatisation Unit Winston Brassington declining comment when questioned on the arrangement following the disclosure on Monday.
Late Tuesday evening, after the story was reported, Brassington issued a statement that read inter alia, “Government has entered into a Confidentiality Undertaking with Zublin Grenada Limited and any disclosures by Zublin, without the approval of Government, would be a violation of this agreement.”
In an apparent case of Zublin Grenada incurring the government wrath for disclosing details of the project, company executives declined to comment on the matter when contacted yesterday.
Zublin Grenada, on Monday, said it was seriously considering “a very attractive offer” by the Guyana Government to build the resort and casino.
Zublin Grenada Limited announced that it has concluded “successful discussions with the government over the development and construction of a Marriott Resort and Casino on a prime location in the heart of the historic centre of Georgetown.”
But Brassington said the Grenada company is but one prospective investor and that “at this juncture, no commitments or agreements have been entered into with Zublin.”
The company said that it was given three weeks to respond to the government’s offer.
While in Guyana, Zublin Chief Executive Officer, Dick Van Dijk, and fellow Director Winston Whyte, met with Minister of Legal Affairs, Charles Ramson and Brassington. Attorney General Ramson said that his meeting was personal
The government said that a number of the statements, which were based on disclosures by Zublin Grenada, were pre-mature and inaccurate.
According to Brassington, in May 2009, Government advertised for Expressions of Interest (EOI) for a joint-venture for a hotel development project to be located at the corner of Kingston and that a number of Expressions of Interest (EOI) were received.
He added that Government in the said advertisement stated that the response to the EOI will be used to guide the selection of a partner or partners who will work with the government to design and implement the project.
The advertisement also stated that the project will be implemented via a Special Purpose Company (SPC) financed with debt and equity contributions following a public-private partnership model.
Since that time, Brassington said government has been working with a number of prospective investors to advance the project.
“Considerable progress has been made to advance the development of a Hotel Entertainment Complex that will include a casino, night-club, boardwalk, and other amenities.
The hotel project will be operated by the Marriott. A special purpose company has been created to undertake the project,” the press release from Brassington’s office stated.
The release stated that government views the project as an attractive one for investment based on the location that allows an integrated entertainment complex overlooking the ocean and river, all fiscal incentives permitted by law, and the combination of a first class Marriott Hotel to be operated by Marriott with a separately operated casino to be operated by a third party operator that has not yet been selected.
According to the statement, the casino will operate pursuant to relevant legislation that requires the construction of a hotel containing no less than 150 rooms.
It added that it is the government’s intention to shortly advertise for the pre-qualification of contractors to build this project and that it will in due course announce the details of the project.
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