BCA: Bahamians can do 80 percent of work on Lighthouse Point project
Bahamian Contractors’ Association (BCA) President Michael Pratt said he’s confident Bahamians can provide 80 percent of the service needs for the Disney Cruise Line (DCL) project at Lighthouse Point, Eleuthera.
Disney has agreed to provide at least 120 construction jobs with an overall ratio of 80 percent Bahamians over the life of the project, but Pratt said his goal is to demonstrate to Disney that Bahamians can provide up to 95 percent of the work needed.
“This project is extremely essential. What we need in our country right now is work, work and more work. That’s what gets our economy going, we recognize that with construction being the third pillar of our economy,” he said.
“We want them to know that yes Bahamians are on the ground, yes we can do the work and we want them to know that now so as they plan they can include us in this step. It’s still early, but what’s important as far as we see it is once we are included now then the conversation later will not be, well we cannot find any workers so we have to bring them in.”
A delegation from Disney, including its project manager, was last week on the island sourcing out qualified Bahamian contractors to fulfill service needs for marine, concrete, masonry, carpentry, roofing, electrical, plumbing, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), fire suppression, utilities, furnishings and finishes (flooring, painting and landscaping) work.
“I’m absolutely confident. Understand that even if they bring people in, sometimes they create partnerships from a lot of the foreign companies that come in to do the work. That’s what we’re also encouraging,” Pratt said.
“Our only concern now is that we do our part, that we make sure that we let them know what we can do and that’s very important as far as I’m concerned, that they know that we’re here. My main concern is that if we miss this opportunity that would be disastrous.”
Only contractors who registered at last week’s BCA meeting will be considered for an invitation to bid on the project.
Disney is currently awaiting the approval of its environmental impact assessment and environmental management plan before it mobilizes. The company has said it hopes to select a general contractor by mid-summer 2019, with an aim to begin construction at the end of the year or early 2020.
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