Representatives of the Attorney General’s Chambers argued last Thursday that government should not be forced to compensate a contractor for the revenues that would have been earned from operating a sewage treatment plant that was never built.

 

The government’s attorneys argued before Commercial Court Justice Barry Leon that he should not heed a request from contractor Global Water Associates to set aside an arbitration award handed down last August in relation to a contract dispute reaching back to 2006.

On Sept. 19 of that year, the company’s representatives and then-Chief Minister Dr. Orlando Smith signed a $2.68 million no-bid contract under which the firm would design, build and install a treatment plant in Paraquita Bay capable of processing 250,000 gallons of wastewater per day.

The same day, the parties also inked a separate contract for Global Water to operate the plant for a 12-year period during which they would be paid $20 per thousand gallons of treated waste.

But the plant was never built because government never met its obligation to furnish the company with a prepared piece of land.

The arbitration proceeding — a process of resolving disputes out of court during which arbitrators determine how much compensation should be paid — ended with a decision that government should compensate Global Water for breaching only the design-and-build contract, and not the operating contract that never came into force.

Last month, the company’s attorneys asked Mr. Leon to set aside the arbitrators’ decision and order that Global should also be compensated for the operating agreement, which the company has said could be worth as much as $20 million.

But Senior Crown Counsel Giselle Jackman-Lumy argued against that course of action last Thursday, in part because courts “should be very reluctant to set aside arbitration awards,” she said.

Mr. Leon said he would consider both parties’ arguments and issue his ruling in the future.

 

See the May 14, 2015 edition for full coverage.

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