Tourism officials are seeking bids from contractors to pre-qualify for the project to design and build a new cruise terminal in George Town harbor.

The process is taking place in tandem with a study by KPMG to determine the precise funding formula for the project.

The deadline for submissions is June 30, taking the procurement process well beyond the May 24 general election. Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell said the pre-qualification process would establish which firms were interested in competing for the project as well as the exact cost.

Mr. Kirkconnell said the bid process will involve commitments from cruise lines on passenger volumes to provide security to bidders on future revenue streams for the piers.

He said the actual cost of the project would be known only after the bids are vetted.

He said the final decision on whether to go ahead with the project would be up to whoever is in power at the end of June.

“The June 2017 administration will make the decision whether or not to send out tender packages to the pre-qualified proponents,” he said.

He added that the government, at that stage, would be armed with specific information about the cost as well as the economic and environmental issues at play, following a four-year information gathering process.

Prospective bidders must be able to demonstrate their ability to design, build, finance and maintain two cruise piers capable of berthing four ships, complete land reclamation work for shoreside infrastructure and expand the cargo facilities at the same site, according to an ad placed in Monday’s Cayman Compass.

The funding formula will involve the bidders financing construction of the piers in return for a share of the annual revenue stream that the cruise facility generates, most likely in the form of a per-passenger fee.

Part of KPMG’s role will be to draft the tender documents ahead of the final bid process.

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