British company tipped for water agency management contract
Stabroek News
October 7, 2002

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Negotiations for a management contract to operate the Guyana Water Inc (GWI) are still to be finalised although indications point to Severn Trent, a British company, being selected for the job.

Attempts to contact the office of Minister of Housing and Water, Shaik Baksh on the negotiations proved futile.

An official of the Carib-bean Engineering Manage-ment Corporation Inc (CEMCO), the local partner of Severn Trent, told this newspaper that negotiations between the company and GWI were roughly 65% completed. He further suggested that a positive disclosure could be expected in another couple of weeks.

However, the official while declining to venture into further disclosures in relation to the process, suggested that this newspaper contact GWI's acting Chief Executive Officer, Paul Bonar. Subsequent attempts to reach Bonar proved futile.

British firms BiWater and Severn Trent, with whom CEMCO is associated, had been selected from nine other companies based in Spain, Germany, France and Guyana as frontrunners for a management contract to run the recently merged water entity.

Severn Trent had been tipped as the preferred bidder for the contract despite submitting a higher bid than BiWater. Severn Trent, this newspaper understands, submitted a bid of US$5.2M while BiWater had made a bid of US$4.5M.

Cabinet had been asked to endorse the recommendation and authorise negotiations for a contract but had deferred this step, referring it to the central tender board for advice.

Cabinet had also requested further information on the performance record of the two short-listed companies.

This newspaper was reliably informed that this process had been delayed primarily because Cabinet was keen to obtain more information, particularly about the performance of one of the companies which had executed a contract in neighbouring Trinidad and Tobago.