Third tender for scrap metal

For the third time in two years, the government is inviting bids to remove scrap metal from the George Town landfill.

The previous two tender invitations attracted no bids from qualified companies, said a statement issued on behalf of Kearney Gomez, permanent secretary for the Ministry of District Administration, Works and Gender Affairs.

‘In the previous tenders, bids were attracted, but the bidders did not meet the tender requirements; therefore, none of the tenders was accepted,’ said the statement.

The failed tendering attempts follow the controversial award of a contract to remove the scrap metal more than two years ago.

Matrix International, a joint Canadian/Caymanian company, which won a tender bid to remove the scrap in March 2007 over two other bidders, was declared in default of its contract six months later.

The ministry said the current tender differed from the previous tenders, including the Matrix one, because ‘it allows for the outright sale of scrap metals that already baled and stored at the landfill’.

This contract also differs from the others in that no company would need to set up operations to process the scrap metals at the landfill, the statement said.

If this invitation to tender attracts bids, the winning bid would be based on the highest price offered per ton of scrap metal, payments for sale of metals prior to shipment, and a reasonable time to complete the removal and shipment of the baled scrap metals off-island, the ministry said.

‘Basically, whoever wins the bid will need to make full payment for the baled scrap metals, make their shipping arrangements and have the baled scrap metals trucked to the ship for removal off-island within a reasonable time,’ the statement said. According to documents filed with the Central Tenders Committee, a reasonable time is considered to be 12 weeks from the start of the contract.

The most recent bid invitation, advertised in public notices on Monday, requests bids to purchase about 6,000 tons of processed scrap from the George Town Landfill, known locally as Mount Trashmore.

It invites contractors to submit tenders to buy baled discarded metal including derelict vehicles, car parts, appliances, furniture, and construction debris.

The deadline for receipt of bids is 4 December.

Matrix paid the Cayman Islands government $310,000 of the $1.25 million it agreed to pay for the scrap.

In the recent budget, the government said it had set aside $400,000 to pay sub-contractors who claim they are owed money by Matrix.

According to the latest tender invitation, the objective of the contract is to sell all scrap metals at Mount Trashmore ‘at the highest price and to ensure a timely removal of scrap metals from the site and transported and shipped outside the Cayman Islands’.

Bidders must demonstrate they can process, transport and market the scrap metals from the landfill to a location outside the Cayman Islands.

They must establish their financial viability to do the work and make the necessary payments to the Cayman Islands government, as well as a copy of valid insurance covering the period of the contract, which includes workmen’s compensation and public liability coverage.

Similar conditions were laid down in the original tender invitation to which Matrix responded. Auditor General Dan Duguay, in his August 2008 report on the scrap metal removal tendering process, pointed out that the contract was signed without Matrix meeting those conditions.

‘The contract was signed on March 19, 2007, without any of the three conditions being met. No audited financial statements were received, there was no confirmation of a line of credit, or bridge financing for the duration of the project and there was no demonstration that Matrix had the ability to security insurance coverage,’ the auditor general’s report stated.