Blacklisted Canadian company got TT$2.2m from gov’t to design hospital in Penal

(Trinidad Guardian) Canadian firm SNC-Lavalin Constructors Inc was paid TT$2.2 million by the T&T Government to design the Penal hospital, despite receiving a ten-year ban from the World Bank from bidding on contracts which it funded. So said Udecott’s media events and community outreach manager, Roxanne Stapleton-Whyms, on Tuesday.

In an e-mail, Stapleton-Whyms said there were no ongoing negotiations between Udecott and the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) over the contract. The TT$1 billion hospital is expected to be built at Clarke Road, Penal. A due diligence review is ongoing for the construction phase of the project. Stapleton-Whyms could not provide any details on the review. However, once it was completed, the CCC would decide whether SNC-Lavalin qualified for the project, it was stated.

However, Minister of Housing Dr Roodal Moonilal said Government still reserved the right to reject the contract if the CCC failed to explain on what grounds SNC-Lavalin was chosen. The project is divided into two phases: Design and construction. Udecott’s CEO Kurt Ramlal said the design phase of the project was almost completed. However, he said, payment terms have not been finalised as tenets were still being negotiated.

Ramlal added that CCC and Udecott were working on the development of a contract for phase two. A letter sent to Ramlal from Luc Allary, the regional director of the Caribbean and Central America of the Canadian Commercial Corporation, said SNC-Lavalin Constructors International Inc was retained for the project.

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