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A&V also bidto provide boatfor sea bridge

Thursday, September 14, 2017

A&V Drilling Workover Limited, the company now at the centre of a 'fake oil' scandal at state-owned Petrotrin, was one of the tenderers in February 2016 for a vessel to replace the Super Fast Galicia.

Well-placed sources at the Port Authority of T&T yesterday told the T&T Guardian that because it was “an open tender anyone was free to bid. A&V submitted a bid. But the tender process was scrapped.”

Asked why the tender was scrapped, the source referred the question to the then PATT general manager Leon Grant. However, efforts to contact Grant, who is on suspension from the Port, were unsuccessful yesterday.

Former Works and Transport Minister Stephen Cadiz posted a message on his Facebook page yesterday saying, "In Trinidad and Tobago, if you dig a little deeper what you might find is that a ferry service and an oil drilling company are actually one of the same.”

Contacted by the T&T Guardian about the post, Cadiz said his information is that “at a meeting in the board room of the Port Authority when the tenders were opened on February 26th, 2016, five tenders were opened. The fifth in the sum of TT$36 million was determined to be the 'best bid on the table.'”

The Port, he said, agreed to award the contract to tender five, which was submitted in the name of A&V Drilling, but “no vessel was identified in the submission. The tender is then abruptly cancelled.”

The tender process took place while the Super Fast Galicia was still operating the sea bridge. A second tender process took place in July 2016, but the T&T Guardian was unable to determine whether A&V Drilling submitted another tender.

Attempts to speak to the owner of A&V Drilling, Nazim Baksh, were again unsuccessful yesterday. A male voice at his Penal-based company said: "Mr Baksh is still out of the country." He could provide no information on when he would return. - RS


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