Contractor, BK International, whose management of the Haags Bosch Landfill was terminated by the government in December 2015, was compensated US$5.7M, in excess of $1B, according to Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan.
The Minister made the disclosure yesterday at the signing of a one-year contract with contractor Puran Brothers Disposal Inc. that will see the company taking over the operations of Haags Bosch Landfill site, aback of Eccles, East Bank Demerara.
Bulkan speaking to media in the boardroom of the Haags Bosch Landfill site office said that the settlement was “designed” to allow the government to pursue a better project that would see another company managing the landfill site.
It was noted that in addition to new management, Government has gone ahead and asked for proposals from several companies that will see the realisation of a project to use the landfill to produce electricity.
The Minister disclosed that several companies subsequently submitted bids with two companies shortlisted. He noted that the companies submitted bids that would generate five megawatts and 14 megawatts of power respectively.
According to Bulkan, Cabinet is deliberating on the selection of the company that will manage that power project.
With regards to the settlement with BK International, Bulkan in defending it said it was crucial for Government to move forward with the development of the Haags Bosch Landfill site.
The facility was opened in early 2011, replacing the dumpsite at Le Repentir Cemetery in the city, which had to be closed because of health and capacity reasons.
Under the arrangements, BK was supposed to be paid for every tonne of waste processed.
The matter came to a head when the administration of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic on February 27, 2015, terminated BK’s contract for the construction and operations of the landfill. The government said that the company missed deadlines and committed other breaches.
On March 13, 2015, BK through his lawyer, Davindra Kissoon, filed a lawsuit asking Chief Justice (Ag) Ian Chang, to overturn the decision of the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development to terminate the contract.
Tiwarie, in court documents, claimed that he was owed hundreds of millions of dollars for the construction and for the daily management of the Eccles site.
Tiwarie said that in 2012, the supervision of the landfill operations was placed under the Ministry of Public Works with engineer, Walter Willis, appointed Project Manager.
However, BK and Willis clashed, and Willis was removed from the project shortly after.
Tiwarie in his court documents said that his company constructed cells, roadways, administrative offices, canteen, workshop and a scale. In the process he hired 50 persons and managed to process 140,000 tonnes of waste annually.
However, the Ministry started delaying payments to BK despite invoices being submitted and letters of demand being written.
As of July 23, 2013, the Ministry reportedly owed BK some US$324,677, the monies being for work done since 2012. This meant there were no payments for one and half years. Aside from this, BK had filed claims against the Ministry for breaches in the contract for US$8M.
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