BVIEC contract signing
BVI Electricity Corporation General Manager Leroy Abraham (centre) and SOL St. Lucia Limited representative Rufino Lin sign a contract as BVIEC Chairman Ron Potter looks on. (Photo: NIA DOUGLAS)

After about 14 years of using Delta Petroleum as its primary fuel provider, the BVI Electricity Corporation has awarded SOL St. Lucia Limited a contract to provide fuel for Tortola’s main power station for the next three years.

All told, the contract is worth about $35-$40 million, depending on fluctuations in the cost of oil, BVIEC General Manager Leroy Abraham estimated during a Dec. 20 signing ceremony at the corporation’s Long Bush location.

SOL representative Rufino Lin signed on behalf of the company, while the BVIEC was represented by Mr. Abraham and Chairman Ron Potter.

Mr. Lin noted that SOL’s relationship with the BVIEC “spans many years,” and that SOL has “always participated in the public tender process.”

Asked why SOL had been selected rather than Delta, Mr. Abraham said, “What SOL did right was present a very attractive cost.”

He added that while Delta’s offer was not unattractive, it was “not as attractive as SOL’s.”


Tender opening

The $35-$40 million deal differs markedly from the bids disclosed during a public tender opening in July, but BVIEC officials explained that the final agreement had been reached after subsequent negotiations with SOL.

In the July bids, Sol originally proposed to supply fuel for five years to the Pockwood Pond and Anegada power stations for $88,145,137; to supply fuel for five years to the BVIEC’s vehicle fleet for $467,992; and to provide lubricating oil for five years for $1,285,555.

Delta, meanwhile, bid $91,928,488 and $481,415, respectively, for the first two jobs, and it offered to supply two different lubricating oil products for a cost of $922,259 or $887,242.


Delta contracts

In December Delta was awarded four smaller contracts, Mr. Abraham said last week: to dispose of waste oil from the Pockwood Pond station, and to provide fuel for the Anegada station, lubricating oil for the Pockwood Pond station, and fuel for the BVIEC’s vehicles on Tortola and Virgin Gorda.

In a Jan. 8 e-mail, Mr. Abraham said it was “difficult to advise the value of these contracts” because they are “associated with various indexes and formulas” and based on estimated values.

“However,” he added, “if your team was present at the [July] tender opening then you can safely use those values, bearing in mind that a thorough analysis is conducted to determine the ‘real’ costs.”

Asked to clarify the discrepancies between the contracts awarded and the bids, he provided a new list of numbers that he said were Delta’s July bids:

  • “a combined value for the supply of diesel to the HWSPS and Anegada for a two-year period: $35,294,815;
  • a combined value for lubricating oil and waste oil disposal for a two-year period: $355,456; and
  • petroleum fuel [for a four-year period]: $411,655.”

Asked about the further discrepancies in the numbers, Mr. Abraham reiterated that the BVIEC could not provide the value of the Delta contracts “as they are associated with various indexes and formulas.”

“The values given were as they were tendered during the tender opening where some of the contracts were combined into one value,” he wrote. “SOL won the contract to supply diesel to [WHSPS] and Delta the Anegada power station. From Delta’s proposed tender we cannot say what value was allotted directly to the Anegada power station.”


A version of this article first appeared in the Jan. 10, 2019 edition.