Eight companies from here and abroad bid to carry out the comprehensive business case that is expected to decide the way forward for the government’s long-delayed plan to expand the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport.
Their offers — which were unveiled during a tender-opening ceremony held Jan. 4 via Zoom — ranged in cost from $209,089 to $540,000.
BVI Airports Authority officials began the ceremony by opening and reading the only bid submitted in hard copy: a $311,190 offer from ICF SH&E Limited.
Then, BVIAA officials and Deputy Financial Secretary Dr. Drexel Glasgow gathered around a laptop and read off seven bids that had been submitted by email:
• KPMG bid $209,089;
• PWC bid $298,970;
• ALG Global Infrastructure Advisors S.L.U. bid $334,000;
• DHB Netherlands B.V., operating as NACO Netherlands Airport Consultants, bid $242,000;
• EY Cayman Limited bid $288,000;
• PA Consulting bid $540,000; and
• Frasca & Associates, LLC bid $ 222,225, plus $49,535 in “reimbursable expenses.”
BVIAA officials said they planned to evaluate the tenders and select a bidder within a week of Jan. 4.
BVIAA Director of Finance Elvis Harrigan, who was acting as managing director, delivered remarks on behalf of Managing Director Kurt Menal, who Mr. Harrigan said was unable to attend the ceremony.
“I’m happy that we have reached this stage, because the BVI Airports Authority is working toward and intends to be the premier gateway to the BVI and beyond,” Mr. Harrigan said, adding, “This is a great step in that direction.”
Successive governments have pushed the airport expansion for more than a decade, but none have published a full business case as required by a 2012 agreement the Virgin Islands signed with the United Kingdom to promote fiscal stability and transparency.
That agreement — the Protocols for Effective Financial Management — requires government to complete and publish a business case and “robust” cost-benefit analysis before the procurement stage of any major capital project.
The BVIAA’s request for proposals, which was issued Nov. 9, marked the first time the government has tendered for a comprehensive airport business case that would meet the requirements of the 2012 agreement.
Nearly 50 people from 15 companies around the world attended a virtual pre-tender meeting on Nov. 28 to discuss the request for proposals.
“The goal is to have the business case completed in the quarter after the successful bidder is identified,” Kevin “OJ” Smith, the project director and special advisor to the Premier’s Office, said during the pre-tender meeting.
Bids were due by Dec. 29.
In a press release issued shortly after the Jan. 4 ceremony, BVIAA Chairman Theodore Burke said the project is among the authority’s top priorities.
“It is our intention to maintain momentum on the airport development project until its fruition,” he said. “The public opening of tenders today marks a significant leap forward in this process as we move closer to solidifying the next steps in the airport’s development.”