CEO of Panther Recycling Michael Mosgrove says that his company will be selecting 10 Guyanese for training in Canada in waste recycling as he remained hopeful that the government will favour his proposal for a $6 billion waste management and recycling facility.
Mosgrove in December submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Local Government following a second call for proposals. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Ministry and Natural Globe Inc. following the first call for proposals was cancelled after revelations on the competency and expertise of Natural Globe Inc. to fulfil its obligations under the MOU.
It was revealed in an interview between Natural Globe Inc. CEO Mohamed Osman and this newspaper that the company had only built a prototype of the recycling facility it had intended to build. Further, Osman was accused of misrepresenting Andriana Webster, daughter of Human Services Minister Jennifer Webster, as one of the primary investors of the project. Cabinet made the withdrawal of the MOU on November 19, 2013.
Mosgrove had also criticised the memorandum of understanding that the Guyanese-born Canadian citizen Osman signed with the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development saying that he, not Osman, was the owner of the name Natural Globe Inc. Mosgrove had told Stabroek News in November that his company Panther Recycling Corporation only recently incorporated the name Natural Globe Inc.
The new advertisement for the project appeared in the Mirror on December 7, 2013. It said the project will be a private/public partnership and the government requires that all intended activities be operated and managed under the guidelines and policies of the Environmental Protection Agency. It said further that government “prefers to collaborate with those who have previous working experience providing identical services in other countries where records of operations and/or services are accessible.”
Mosgrove explained to Stabroek News that while he has set up offices in Jamaica for over a year now, actual operations there have not commenced since the duty-free concessions have only just come from the Portia Simpson-Miller administration.
“[In Jamaica,] I have the land already cleared. We have set up offices. We already have staffing in place,” Mosgrove said.
“I said to the government in Jamaica I don’t want anything out of Jamaica [in terms of public funds]. But what I do want is not to pay taxes for what I bring to you as a country,” he said.
“It took me until December 13, 2013 to get [approval on that],” Mosgrove said. “When I leave here I am going to Jamaica…we are moving, we are doing it,” he said. “The Jamaican government [finally granted us the tax free concessions] and we have documentation to back that up,” he said.
“There is no lie to this thing, I am telling you. Anybody wants to call me up, get the TV cameras and let’s do it,” he said. “”We are not goofing around with what we are saying,” he said.
Mosgrove has given an undertaking to Mayor Hamilton Green that Panther will build a new modern morgue for the city should it get the contract for the waste management and recycling facility. In addition to the morgue, Panther is prepared to provide new equipment and other paraphernalia and accoutrements to make the facility an efficiently outfitted one.
In a comment to Stabroek News following the cancellation of the MOU, Osman had said that it was not clear whether his company would be resubmitting a proposal, since it was yet to be discussed by the company’s Board of Directors.
Panther Recycling Corp proposes to establish at its own expense, on property owned or managed by the government, a Cdn$26 million solar-powered recycling centre and waste management programme for the efficient elimination of waste. The proposal said that the company will solely be responsible for the importation of equipment and the payment of customs duties or the obtaining of any waivers and said the government was indemnified of all financial obligations of the arrangement.
Panther wants the government to provide 25 acres of land on which the proposed facility will be constructed for a period of no less than 15 years and wants duty-free import and export for a term of no less than 15 years. It is also asking the government for a 10-year tax holiday for corporate and individual taxes.
The company wants the government to pay a rate of US$100 per tonne for waste collected and is asking that government partner with it to roll out an aggressive public relations and advisory campaign.
The proposal, which this newspaper has seen, said the facility will be solar powered and multi-sorting and that the programme will see up to a 37 per cent reduction in materials going to the landfill.
The Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development is putting together the evaluation team that will examine the merits of the proposals.
A source from within the Ministry said last Thursday that the team will comprise a wide cross-section of persons of various professions and expertise. The source, however, did not want to say when the team is to begin working on evaluating the proposals.