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Final bids submitted for landfill project

Between six and seven bids have been submitted to the government for the privatization of the solid waste management system in Nassau, Guardian Business can confirm, with a Ministry of Environment official saying more information will be revealed in the coming weeks.

Permanent Secretary Ronald Thompson told Guardian Business yesterday that the ministry has received a lot of interest from Bahamian and international companies about the management of the Tonique Williams-Darling Highway landfill site, and is in the process of reviewing the bids.

“We received the bids and haven’t looked at them all yet,”Thompson said.”We had a number of responses from a number of Bahamian companies and international firms and an update should be available in a few weeks.”

The deadline to submit bids was last week. A$20 million proposal was initially agreed upon with Miami-based Cambridge Development Projects to manage the site last July, but the deal fell through in September after the government decided not to move forward with it.

However, Vice-president for Cambridge Development Projects Len Enriquez confirmed with Guardian Business that the company is still tied to the project, but is unable to go into specifics about its level of involvement.

Thompson said the company which will be selected should be able to handle both the short term and long term goals the government wants to see executed on the site.

“What we are looking for is for(a company)to upgrade and manage the Tonique Williams-Darling dump site and a long term component of the project will be waste-to energy,”he said.”Once the proposals are reviewed we will know where we stand.”

Under the original scheme, around$10 million of construction work would be given to Bahamian contractors with much work needed to bring the aging and inefficient site up to modern-day standards, and prevent another costly fire which is an ever present risk.

Another element of the deal will involve forming a new company in which 40 percent would be available to workers and the Bahamian public, as part of the government’s commitment to broaden the ownership of Bahamians.

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