The Central Tenders Committee has
disqualified a bid from the co-owner of Matrix to buy the remaining scrap metal
at Mount Trashmore for CI$70 per ton in favour of a bid for just over half that
The higher bid came from Canadian
Bruce Young of Matrix, a Caymanian-Canadian company the government sacked after
it failed to fulfil a contract in 2007 to remove the scrap. Mr. Young said his
bid was unfairly disqualified, insisting he met all the criteria outlined in
the tender invitation.
Island Builders won the most recent
bid to remove the scrap metal.
Ronnie Dunn, chairman of the
Central Tenders Committee, said Tuesday that Island Builders had been awarded
the scrap metal tender for a price of $36.16 per ton. “At an estimated 8,000
tons, the total contract value is anticipated to be $289, 280,” Mr. Dunn said.
There were three bidders in the
tender, which closed on 18 June. “One bidder was disqualified for failing to
meet a tender requirement. The tender was awarded to the highest of the two
remaining qualifying bidders,” Mr. Dunn said.
The disqualified bidder was Mr.
Young. The other bidder was Cardinal D Ltd, which won a contract earlier this
year to remove 6,000 tons of scrap metal at $50 per ton. In the latest tender,
Cardinal D made the lowest offer, at $25 per ton.
Mr. Young said he was astounded
that the scrap metal would be sold for $36.16 per ton, saying his bid of $70
per ton, for 15,000 tons, would bring in more than $700,000 more than the
amount that Island Builders would pay.
Mr. Young said his offer also
included money to pay back the more than $280,000 the government paid in April
this year to subcontractors who were owed money by Matrix since 2007.
He said he was told he had been
disqualified because the committee determined he did not produce evidence that
he had the financial means to cover the deal.
“I supplied them with documentation
of how this was going to be covered by two different means. I did not realise
they’d want me to pay the money up front with the tender, but I can do that,”
Mr. Young sent the Caymanian
Compass copies of correspondence from a lender and a buyer that he said was
included in his bid offer. These included a letter from lending company Propel
Financial Services in Nova Scotia, signed by its president David Young,
offering financing of 1.5 million Canadian dollars (CI$1.16 million), and an
email from Alter Metal Recycling, one of the largest scrap metal processors in
the US, agreeing to purchase the scrap metal from Mr. Young if his company,
Bruce Young Salvage Incorporated, won the bid and arrange finances to meet or
exceed the requirements of the Cayman Island Government.
Mr. Young has called on the Central
Tenders Committee to reconsider his bid, saying he realised that following his
previous interaction with the government over the Matrix deal, his reputation
had been tarnished. “I want this deal because I want to clear my name,” he
Mr. Dunn, who was not at the
committee meeting on Friday, 13 August, when the decision was made to award the
bid to Island Builders, said he had agreed to review the documentation sent by
Mr. Young to determine if he had met the necessary criteria, but added that
this was not an undertaking to reverse the CTC’s decision.
The Central Tenders Committee
chairman said the committee’s decision had been based on recommendations from
the Department of Environmental Health and the Ministry of District
Administration, Works, Lands and Agriculture, adding that a report from the
ministry’s evaluation committee had stated that Mr. Young’s bid had not met the
financial viability criteria.
He added that the report had
included some other aspects of the bid and the background involving the
previous contract, but that the disqualification of Mr. Young’s bid was based
on the financial issues.
Mr. Young said that in his bid, he
offered to pay the $280,533 the government paid to subcontractors up front,
another half-million dollars up front, and pay the remaining money for the
scrap before it was shipped off island.
The government paid 19
subcontractors $280,533 in April to cover outstanding debts Matrix owed them.
Price per ton varies
Another individual involved in the
scrap and demolition business, David Laird, said that while he had not entered
an official bid, he had communicated to the government that he could get $125
per ton for the metal, which he could sell to a steel mill in Guatemala.
“At $36.16 a ton, that’s
one-sixteenth of a penny per pound. How can they sell scrap for that when they
don’t have enough money to build schools?” he said.
Mr. Laird said scrap prices on the
metals markets were considerably higher than the $50 per ton that the previous
tender to remove the scrap garnered.
Mario Rankin of Cardinal D said his
company put in a tender bid of $25 per pound for the latest round, but was not
He said that while scrap may be
selling on the international market for far higher prices, the expensive cost
of shipping had to be taken into account.
“What people don’t take into
consideration is that it costs $250,000 to ship 2,500 tons to Florida, never
mind to Hong Kong or China,” he said. The scrap Cardinal D removed from Island
earlier this year was shipped to China for recycling.
He said Cardinal D had offered half
of its original bid because the remaining scrap at the dump was unprocessed and
not baled. The 6,000 tons removed in April was pre-baled and just needed to be
transported to the port and put on barges.
He added; “I find it a little
bizarre that the Central Tenders Committee could think that $11.16 more than
the $25 was the deciding factor… but I’m glad that the bid went to a local
The Central Tenders Committee
notified the winning bidder on Tuesday of its decision. Managing director of
Island Builders, Dean Scott, said he had no comment to make on the bid at press
time until more details were available.
According to the tender invitation,
the scrap metal at the dump includes loose, unprocessed or semi-processed
appliances, derelict vehicles, fuel tanks, tyre rims, metal furniture,
fixtures, construction debris and other metal items.
It said the metal included, but was
not limited to, brass, copper, aluminium, steel, tin, cast iron and other
discarded metal suitable for reprocessing.