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Timeline in trouble –Still no airport negotiation

On December 27 last year, Premier Smith DECLARED: “Negotiations will now get underway with the preferred Bidder with a view to concluding a contractual agreement within three months.”

On December 27 last year, Premier Smith DECLARED: “Negotiations will now get underway with the preferred bidder with a view to concluding a contractual agreement within three months.”

The National Democratic Party government is likely to miss the time-line within which it said it would have been able to signed a contract for extension of the runway at Terrence B Lettsome International Airport.

Premier Dr D Orlando Smith had announced that his government would have been in a position to sign within three months, a contract possibly with the preferred bidder on the project – China Communications Construction Company (CCCC).

On December 27 last year, he declared: “Negotiations will now get underway with the preferred bidder with a view to concluding a contractual agreement within three months.”

It is almost three months since the premier made that statement, and his government, up to last week, was yet to even start negotiations with CCCC.

It is not clear what has been holding up the process.

Responding to questions posed a few days ago (March 9) in the House of Assembly, Premier Smith told the territory: “No negotiations have begun, and no contractor has been selected for the Terrance B Lettsome International Airport runway extension. The process is that a preferred bidder is selected to negotiate with. If negotiations are not concluded with that bidder, then negotiations will commence with the other bidder.”

The other shortlisted bidder – IDL McAlpine – had promised to undertake the proposed runway project at a cost of $198,910,525. But its bid was rejected when Government selected CCCC as the preferred bidder.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Meanwhile, Fraser, a few days ago, asked if Premier Smith sought permission from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office ( FCO) to negotiate and do business with the Chinese government, which is the owner of CCCC.

The premier replied: “Again, no contractor has been selected for the Terrence B Lettsome International Airport runway extension project, nor have we commenced negotiations with the preferred bidder. No request has therefore been made to the FCO for permission to negotiate or do business with the Chinese government.”

Premier Smith, who also in the minister of finance, has been challenged by some of his own Government colleagues to prove that the British Virgin Islands can afford the airport project at this time.

The airport runway, Government said, is to be extended from 4645 feet to about 7100 feet.

Premier Smith has maintained that the project is needed in order for the territory to accommodate much larger planes, and to effectively solve the costly problem being faced with airlift.

Copyright 2017 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

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12 Comments

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  1. Hmmm says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    The Premier cannot be trusted. He says one thing & does a next.

  2. audi says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    These questions should have gone to the other half because they wear the pants in the house.

  3. my feelings says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    I strongly feel that this Premier done sign with the Chineese but isn’t saying. I think he has turn out to be a real deceiver.

  4. Jamaican says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

    Premier please wake up & keep those Chinese out of our country. They done destroy the rest of the Caribbean.

  5. Shhhh says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Shhhh…between you and me the thing must happen because thing done pass under the table to three key players…

  6. Just Wrong says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

    Is it at all possible they have come to their senses ??

  7. Political Observer (PO) says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    The extension of TBLIA project is in trouble to put it mildly. The natives are restless.

    Elected members, Joe/Jane/Julio, NGOs and electorate in general are skeptical about the affordability of spending $153M at this juncture. This number will rise, for CCCC is asking for concessions.

    The Premier and a small minority are dead set to move bud speed ahead with the project amidst current financial challenges. What gives?

    As the Republicans in the US Congress needs to abandon the repeal and replacement of Obama Care (Affordable Care Act) for Trump Care, and reboot so too should the VI defer the extension of TBLIA. Both projects are forging ahead and on a collision course with reinforced concrete walls.

    But it is more likely to see green mules flying than either project being abandoned. Should the BVI see what is going to happen with BVI Airways ($7M give away)) and modernized the ferry system?

  8. ndp heckler says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    He is saying 3 months and she is saying 5 years…Wha going on here?

  9. BVI airways says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    But BVI airways can land on our existing runway. And what assurance do we have that planes from Europe will be sblr to land on the extended runway?

    Shouldn’t we have answers to these questions before spending $150m? Should we at least have a regional transportation plan?

  10. Hmmm says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Another good project with bad intentions.

  11. Forbidden Truth says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    The NDP’s Unsustainable entitlement growth have led us to the brink of national bankruptcy.

    The Pier Park,the Hospital, sewerage project and the airport projects are all consequences of an environment in which the so-called leaders of this country know they WILL NEVER be held accountable for the debts they incur in OUR name.

    This represents a very serious long-term threat to the THE VIRGIN ISLANDS aka BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

  12. concerned says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    This project if signed sealed and about to be delivered will never be $153 mil. We all know that.

    Hospital – overruns, Pier Park/pier – overruns (and no audit),Roads- cannot complete for amount of loan as we were told, Sewers – that is a laugh because they borrowed from them for pier park and still sewers are not done.

    Fix ferry system and get regional airlines working correctly, because airport if built will be over $300 mil.(all inclusive and that includes concessions). How can we tell what shape we are really in without any audits of Government or Pier Park??

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