Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 4th 2014 Contents A11
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Opposition MP Colm Imbert
is claiming the biding process in
the award of a $1.6 billion Nation-
al Gas Company (NGC) contract
to construct a wastewater treat-
ment plant at Beetham was not
Speaking at a news conference
at the Office of the Leader of the
Opposition, Charles Street, Port-
of-Spain, yesterday, Imbert said
the contract was based on a ques-
Imbert said his conclusion was
based on documents produced by
the World Bank, the Inter-Amer-
ican Development Bank, the Inter-
national Finance Corporation and
Imbert said bid-rigging was very
likely when a low weight was given
to bid price and the weight for
price in this case was 30 per cent.
"So whenever you see a tender
evaluation method where a very
low weighting is given to price,
that is a warning sign," Imbert
said, adding that it would lead to
serious potential for manipulation.
The process used was discredited
more than ten years ago and was
ripe for manipulation, he said.
Imbert said Sport Minister Anil
Roberts told Parliament recently
the figure did not include the
transmitting pipelines but his claim
He accused Roberts of mislead-
ing the Parliament and insisted
the document referred to the trans-
Imbert also said Energy Minister
Kevin Ramnarine did not speak
the truth when he told Parliament
the estimated cost of the project
was $150 million, as the report
gave it as $101,450 million.
That information "debunked"
the Government s claim that the
lowest bidder was rejected because
its price was ridiculously low,
The lowest bid price was $95
million and the SIS bid was $165
He said somebody must be play-
ing games when a bidder would
have been rejected because his bid
for a $101 million project was $95
"There is absolutely no justifi-
cation by the Government to dis-
qualify the lowest bidder on the
grounds that its price was too low,"
He also dismissed a claim by
Roberts that the cost of water from
the proposed plant would be US56
cents a cubic metre. Based on his
own calculations, Imbert said, the
actual cost a cubic metre would
"So Mr Roberts cost of 50 cents
is bogus. It is $1.34. His allegation
that the WASA estimates did not
include the pipeline is bogus,"
Imbert said, calling for the Integrity
Commission, the Audit Division,
Ministry of Finance and the Econ-
omy to investigate the project.
Imbert said it would have been
more economical for Desalcott to
increase production as the cost of
desalinated water was less than
$1.Imbert also said the Beetham
project was rejected under the for-
mer PNM Government because of
the cost factor and the preferred
option of the former government
was to construct a new power sta-
tion next to the wastewater plant
He explained that the PowerGen
plant on Wrightson Road, Port-
of-Spain, was operating with old
equipment. That option, he argued,
would eliminate the need to con-
struct any pipeline and would
reduce expenditure on the project
He said the project was not
needed and the truth was not being
told by the Government on the
method used for the bid evalua-
PNM PRO Faris Al-Rawi said
the Opposition had written to
President Anthony Carmona ask-
ing him to get answers from Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
on the contract award and the
party was also seeking to initiate
legal action to stop the project.
Imbert on wastewater treatment plant:
Faulty bidding process
Imbert quoted the Beetham
Water Resource Project Final
Report, dated October 2013,
which outlined the estimated
capital cost of the project.
• Plant: US$33 million.
• Membrane:US$7 million.
• Pipelines: (Beetham to
Point Lisas, 34 km)
Rowley spoke of the contract award at a news
conference at his office recently and subsequently
presented a private motion in Parliament calling for
the Prime Minister to stop the contract.
He also wrote to President Anthony Carmona
asking that he request answers on the matter from
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar. Rowley has
also indicated his intention to take the matter to
court to have it stopped.
Opposition MP Colm Imbert
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