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News : Bahamas Information Services Updates Last Updated: Nov 22, 2017 - 4:00:35 PM

Government welcomes expressions of interest in landfill management
By Gena Gibbs
Nov 22, 2017 - 3:55:06 PM

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New Providence Sanitary Landfill. (BIS Photo/Gena Gibbs) PHOTO CAPTION New Providence Sanitary Landfill. (BIS Photo/Gena Gibbs)

NASSAU, The Bahamas - Minister of the Environment & Housing, the Hon. Romauld Ferreira announced, November 20, that the public is invited to submit Expressions of Interest (EOI) and proposal requests for potential investment and management services to provide the deconstruction, remediation, and operation of the New Providence Sanitary Landfill, located on Tonique Williams Darling Highway. 

He made the announcement in a press conference at the Ministry, giving the timeline set to privatize the daily operations of the landfill.

Minister Ferreira said: “On 27th January 2014, the previous government entered into an agreement with ‘Renew Bahamas Limited’ to operate the New Providence Sanitary Landfill.   The company officially took over 1st August 2014, but its management was replete with challenges.

“The previous government found itself rescuing ‘Renew’ from its woes, by putting out fires, paying contractors and providing a loan to ‘Renew’ to pay its Bahamian staff and service providers to keep the landfill in operation.”

After explaining the financial struggle Renew encountered while initiating the failed waste management business plan, Minister Ferreira reminded the public of a significant Act of God detail that delivered the final death blow to the company, making matters worse.

“You would recall that Hurricane Matthew hit The Bahamas on 6th October 2016.  This increased the waste at the landfill exponentially.  However, by 11th October 2016, Renew Bahamas Limited advised the previous government that it could no longer fulfill its obligations under the contract, and pulled out of The Bahamas,” said Minister Ferreira.

“On the 31st October 2016, the Department of Environmental Health Services (DEHS) assumed responsibility for the landfill. This left the Department of Environmental Services to manage and operate the activities at the New Providence Sanitary Landfill.”

In addition, he addressed the downward spiral of regression DEHS encountered, in a period of one year, as their workers reverted to the retroactive culture of waste management practices that remained the only available solution at their disposal to control the overwhelming surge in waste accumulation, including impacted combustibles.

“It is no secret that the New Providence Landfill has been plagued with intermittent fires.  However, the event that sparked great public outcry, transpired on 5th March 2017, when a massive fire broke out at the landfill that burned for approximately three weeks.  The fire caused an evacuation order and displacement of Jubilee Garden residents.  It came close to nearby gas companies, caused the closure of neighbouring businesses and schools, challenged fire fighters, and utilized much of the resources of the Bahamian people,” said Minister Ferreira.

He also explained the effort the Bahamas Government, at the time, made to correct dangerous situation.  A preliminary assessment was conducted by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) during 4th – 7th April, 2017. 

“Commencing the 13th April 2017, the previous administration published a ‘Notice Request for Proposals for the Potential Investment and Management Services Relating to the Remediation and Operation of the Harold Road Landfill’ in the newspapers.  Interested firms were requested to submit a proposal within two weeks.  The Tenders Board at the Ministry of Finance received only two proposals. On 27th April 2017, one day after the RFP was closed, the Ministry of the Environment and Housing received the PAHO Preliminary Assessment of the New Providence Landfill outlining potential environmental and health impacts of the recent fire,” said Minister Ferreira.

Consequently, the Minister added: “you would recall that a press statement was released on 1st June 2017, that conveyed the short and long-term goals of the government to address the challenges and remediate the landfill.” He defined that one of the short-term goals of the government was to issue a new RFP for the management of the entire site, so Bahamians would also have an opportunity to compete in commencing remedies for the landfill’s proper management.

“Today, I am happy to report that commencing 16th November 2017, ‘Invitations for Expressions of Interest for the Potential Investment and Management Services Relating to the Deconstruction, Remediation and Operation of the New Providence Sanitary Landfill at Tonique Williams Darling Highway’ was published in the daily newspapers.  All interested persons can obtain a copy of the Expression of Interest from the Receptionist’s Desk at the Ministry of the Environment and Housing between the hours of 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  I am to advise the public that the EOI is a prequalification stage for the submission of a Request for Proposals from suitably qualified private sector providers, with the technical and financial ability to manage and operate the landfill,” said Minister Ferreira.  

“The goal of the proposal is to provide for an environmentally sound management system for solid waste management at the landfill.”

Minister Ferreira pinpointed the successful criteria identified in a short list for the public to read and understand. 

“The principal goals of the potential investment and management services relating to the deconstruction, remediation and operation of the landfill are as follows:

• To provide the requisite financing needed to sustain operations; 

• To provide technical support in all project phases—from inception to construction of landfill improvements;

•  To deconstruct and remediate the landfill facility; and 

•  To make the overall configuration more attractive, while developing a sustainable system.

The potential investor will be responsible for carrying out the following assignments at the landfill:

• Financing waste management operations;

• Operation of the landfill site;

• Sustaining waste management upgrades and extending coverage to mitigate fires and reduce the rodent population;

• Generation of revenue from waste management services; 

• Stakeholder relationship management; 

• Assisting the government with the acquisition of waste management capacity, in relation to the scale of operations and desired service levels; and 

• Effective risk mitigation strategies in operating the landfill site with the assurance that no liabilities would originate for the government or any other interested party.”

Minister Ferreira advised the press that once the EOIs have been received by the Tenders Board, they will be opened at its 19th December 2017 meeting at 10:00 a.m. 

“The EOI’s will be evaluated by the Review/Selection Team recommended by the Cabinet of the Bahamas, and a shortlist of investors will be prepared.  The successful interests will receive the terms and conditions of the RFP upon payment of a non-refundable registration fee of $10,000.00, and are expected to submit technical and financial proposals to the Tenders Board at the Ministry of Finance by 28th February 2018,” said Minister Ferreira.

He concluded with the explanation “that these proposals will then be evaluated by the Review/Selection Team, and a preferred bidder will be selected by 15th March 2018.” In addition to that, all unsuccessful participants will be informed of their status, and the process is expected to close by 30th April 2018.   

“Once the government is informed of the results, I shall come back to report to the public which firm the Government has selected to enter into an agreement to manage, deconstruct and operate the New Providence Sanitary Landfill,” said Minister Ferreira.

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