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Bridgemans still waiting on Port Authority

Published: 
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Andrew Purdey, vice president, Bridgemans Services

The vice president of Bridgemans Services group Andrew Purdey says they have heard “zero” from the Port Authority on the evaluation of tenders for a passenger ferry for the inter-island sea bridge.

Bridgemans tendered the Ocean Flower 2 in the bid which closed on September 20.

Curiously, on that same day, the vessel docked in Chaguaramas for what was described as a “planned dry dock”.

Asked whether the dry dock had been completed Purdey said “Dry docking will be completed in the coming weeks and ongoing preventative maintenance until we secure a contract.”

Purdey said the Ocean Flower2 will “be docked alongside the Chaguaramas Port for the next few weeks” and that the vessel will depart that location “when we secure a contract or reposition”.

The Guardian understands that it was only last week the chairman of the board of the Port Authority Allison Lewis wrote to the Tobago Chamber asking for a representative to sit on the Evaluation Committee.

At a meeting on Thursday, the Chamber did not select a representative, but members instead agreed to write to Lewis requesting more details of their role on the committee.

Lewis could not be reached for comment.

Purdey claimed that Bridgemans had tendered the Ocean Flower 2 elsewhere but refused to say where for reasons of “confidentiality”.

Purdey said Bridgemans had been “supporting the port and the people of the country with an extra sailing of the Cabo Star to support the breakdown of the Express”.

BACKGROUND ON OCEAN FLOWER 2

The Ocean Flower 2 was first granted a contract by the Allison lewis-led board of the Port Authority in June.

The contract valued at US$26,500 per day was cancelled on August 8 after the vessel failed to meet three delivery dates — July 17, 26 and August 1.

When the vessel arrived in Panama and was inspected by the CEO of TTIT Leon Grant and chief engineer Brendon Plower they raised numerous concerns. Grant was suspended shortly after and remains on suspension.

The procurement of the Ocean Flower 2 and the Cabo Star is now the subject of an inquiry by the Joint Select Committee of Parliament.

Only last week Acting CEO/GM of the port Charmaine Lewis was dismissed after the board said they had lost trust and confidence in her.