Evaluation of bids for new Demerara River crossing to be completed by month end

An artist’s impression of the new bridge

The evaluation of bids for the new Demerara River crossing is expected to be completed by the end of this month and the process will be moved into the next phase, Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson says.

“The guys are doing the evaluation at the moment, the evaluation team. They have very interesting proposals. I do hope they can be completed and am sure they will be before the end of this month so we can move forward,” Patterson told Stabroek News on Friday when asked for an update.

On November 21st last, 11 companies submitted bids, with Chinese companies dominating the bidding.

Following the evaluation of the tenders the Ministry of Public Infrastructure has said that three companies will be  shortlisted to bid for the project soon after.

Government anticipates that the project will be started this year and be completed by 2020.

In February of this year, project manager Rawlston Adams said that the evaluation of tenders had proven more complex than planned and it was for that reason the deadline for the completion of the process had been extended.

“We started the evaluation and the evaluation committee has met but what we realised is that the amount of information that has to be assessed and evaluated needs a lot of clarification from bidders,” Adams had said.

“One of the other things is we need additional resources to the team, to boost its capacity to evaluate the financials. This is something we are addressing,” he added.

He had earlier pointed out that the evaluation process had started and that the 11 Expressions of Interest (EOIs) received were still in the evaluation stage.

“Once we get out of that stage, we will present our report to the government and will be advised on how to go forward on that project,” he had stated

“The team has been assembled and is a very diverse team…. It’s a lot of financial proposals and you have to have the necessary expertise and advice to go on and go through and compare because you are looking at a large number of proposals. So we are hoping to complete by the end of January,” Adams had said.

He had also explained that the evaluation team consisted of an engineer, legal and financial representatives, and personnel from the Ministry of Finance and that they were also “free to call on other technical resources as needed.”

Given the committee’s need for more expertise, Adams had said that the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board would have been engaged to help “incorporate additional resources.”

He underscored the detailed evaluation needed, given the magnitude of the project. “It is not a run of the mill project,” he had noted.

Adams had said that some companies seemed to “have interpreted the conditions and requirements of the contract differently,” which was reflected in their bids, while some offered “alternatives and or additives” in their respective tenders.

Then in March he said that the team was seeking help from the Ministry of Finance for further clarity and assistance as they evaluated bids.

Patterson was asked about that meeting and explained, “Everybody put in good financial options so you had to meet the experts to qualify which is acceptable and which isn’t,” he said even as he assured that by the end of this month the evaluation process will be completed.

The names of the companies that bid for the project are listed below.