Tue | Dec 6, 2016

Blacklisted firms barred from NMIA bids

Published:Friday | April 24, 2015 | 12:00 AM
The Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston.

Development Bank of Jamaica (DBT) has republished a pre-qualification document for the Norman Manley International Airport concession that Managing Director Milverton Reynolds says clarifies that applicants will have to source their own financing.

Further, with the IFC as a backer of the divestment programme, the wording now makes clear that companies blacklisted by the World Bank will be similarly barred from bidding on the airport project.

The DBJ has five candidates shortlisted, but refused to name them. It was disclosed in Parliament this week that the five bids emanated from Europe, Asia and South America.

Amid speculation that CHEC is among the prospects, its spokeswoman Jennifer Armond said Thursday that the company would not comment at all on whether it was a participant in the bidding, while noting that CHEC itself was awaiting the disclosure of the shortlisted firms.

An announcement is expected next week.

"Based on the transaction timetable, the Government anticipates announcing the list of pre-qualified firms on 27 April, 2015," Reynolds told the Financial Gleaner.

The selected investor is expected, in the first seven years of the concession, to invest at least US$120 million - which translates to J$13.8 billion at current exchange rates - in a 500-metre runway extension, runway rehabilitation, and ICAO compliance projects.

"For clarity, the 2014 pre-qualification document had included reference to eligibility for World Bank-financed projects. This was removed in the new pre-qualification document as the new concessionaire will be required to identify and source its own financing for the project to present to the GOJ for approval," said Reynolds.

First issued on December

1, 2014, the Request for Pre-qualification was republished in mid-April with an indication that changes to the invitation had been made.

Previous applicants were advised that they should indicate whether they wanted their RFP proposals re-reviewed, or alternatively, they could submit new bids. They also had the option to withdraw entirely.

The pre-qualification phase wrapped up last Friday, April 17. The five who were shortlisted will be invited to participate in a Request for Proposals.

Original invitation terminated

Reynolds said that the original 2014 invitation for prequalification was terminated by decision of the Government of Jamaica "to effect an administrative modification to the pre-qualification document and relaunch an invitation for pre-qualification applications - the 'New Invitation for Prequalification' - on 30 March, 2015.

"A modification has been made to the pre-qualification document to rectify an inconsistency between the wording in the eligibility clause of the document and the intention of the Government of Jamaica," said the DBJ head.

It now states that: "If an entity

is debarred by the World

Bank Group and listed on http://www.worldbank.org/debarr, the debarment specifics as applicable shall apply to this bidding process".

"The eligibility criteria which relates to the World Bank debarment list has not been deleted but has been amended," he said.

NMIA is Jamaica's second-largest airport located off the Palisadoes strip in Kingston. The airport at year ending March 2014 pulled in US$26.06 million ($2.9 billion) of revenue, which was 18 per cent better than its fiscal 2013 turnover. Aeronautical operations contributed just over 40 per cent of revenue.

The airport handled 1.423 million passenger movements in 2014, and 12.33 million kgs of freight, including mail.

avia.collinder@gleanerjm.com