Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 8th 2017 Contents BG6 | NEWS
BUSINESS GUARDIAN guardian.co.tt JUNE 8 • 2017
Blame game continues at port
Bay Ferries is confirming that
in excess of US$7 million was
expended on services provided
by the company to the Port Au-
thority annually for the main-
tenance of the two inter-island
vessels: the T&T Express and the T&T Spirit.
But the Canadian company, which wrote
several letters to the port threatening to "with-
hold service" if the money was not paid on
time, is insisting that of that US$7 million, it
only earned the US$954,475 management fee.
The remainder of the money, according to
the company, represented reimbursements for
monies expended on operational issues as per
its contract with the government.
Bay Ferries also denied that it deleted main-
tenance data and failed to meet contractual
commitments for transition saying the blame
rests with the Port Authority.
Speaking to the Business Guardian by tele-
phone from his office in Halifax Canada, chief
executive officer of Bay Ferries Mark McDon-
ald said: "There were a large number of costs
flowing through the company, including ship
maintenance, crew and other costs incidental
to the operation."
McDonald confirmed he had seen an ex-
clusive report in the T&T Guardian which
quoted figures which added up to just over
He said: "They looked more or less accurate.
It costs several millions for day-to-day ship
maintenance and crew-related issues. These
are costs that any company in the ferry busi-
The company, according to invoices, was paid
the following sums:
Works and Transport Minister Rohan Si-
nanan told Parliament last week Wednesday
that Bay Ferries Management Ltd (BFML) was
paid: "In excess of US$7 million per year." That
money, he said, included the US$954, 475 man-
agement fee and a monthly operational fee of
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley had also
raised the issue of the US$7 million payment
for 11 years on May 26 at a news conference in
Parliament and lamented that all the material
related to the vessels had been deleted.
McDonald explained that the way the con-
tract worked "all of these costs which the Port
Authority would have to incur would pass
through our company on the basis of a zero
mark up. Costs were paid by us and we then
invoiced the Port Authority."
The contractual operational fee was not in-
cluded in a statement Bay Ferries issued to the
media last Monday which only spoke to the
management fee. But in the past the company
had written to the port expressing concern that
the money which was to cover costs of daily
operations was not being paid on time and had
even threatened to suspend service.
McDonald insisted the payments were "re-
imbursements for costs we incurred. The port
received documents for every dollar of expense.
Those documents were passed to the port on a
monthly basis for them to review and audit."
Bay Ferries contracts
The first contract that Bay Ferries was grant-
ed by T&T was in 2005 when the then Patrick
Manning government signed a charter contract
with the company for the country's first high-
speed catamaran, The Cat. That contract was
for the period 2005-2007.
In 2007, the company signed its first three-
year management contract with the port. The
contract was renewed in 2010 with an option
for an additional two years.
McDonald said, "In 2013, we entered into an
extension and transition agreement with the
port for detailed planning for the transition
to local management."
Based on that agreement, he said Bay Fer-
ries "went through lengthy discussions with
the port to talk about transitioning from our
company to local management."
Bay Ferries denies sabotage, explains US$7m cost
File photo: Inter-island ferries docked at the Scarborough Port, Tobago.
Wages and benefits
Accommodation and cleaning
Meal allowance BFML
Insurance ship managers
Captain petty cash
Staff reimbursement non-management US$120,480.00
Agency fees Melville Shipping
Figures represent an annual cost of US$7,236,218.77
Continued on Page 7
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