Haags Bosch performing above design specifications – … Ministry owes BK International for completed works - … Minister Bulkan makes contradictory statements
BK INTERNATIONAL is shocked by the contradictory position taken by the Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan, with respect to the construction and operation of the Haags Bosch Sanitary Landfill (HBSL) as reported yesterday in the Guyana Chronicle.The following statement was issued by BK International last evening:
Minister Bulkan claims that the HBSL being constructed and operated by BK International is not meeting the designed requirement, yet, at the same time, he declares that the HBSL is now processing more than 10,000 tonnes per month, while the design was intended for 6,000 tonnes per month. In fact, as of May 18, the HBSL was processing in excess of 500 tonnes per day, the equivalent of 15,000 tonnes per month.
For the record, BK International has no relationship with or obligation to the IDB on the Haags Bosch Landfill, the IDB has a relationship with the Government of Guyana (GoG). The GoG has a responsibility to effectively manage the project to the satisfaction of the funding agency, the IDB. If the IDB is not satisfied that the GoG is meeting the terms and conditions of the contract, it may terminate the funding. Contrary to what is suggested in the article yesterday, although the GoG and IDB signed in 2007, BK International was not awarded the contract until November 2009.
It must also be noted that the IDB has also contracted HYDEA, a German Consulting firm, in association with Guyanese consultants CEMCO, for supervising the project. Compliance with the designs and requirement are in the hands of the GoG and the supervising consultants.
The Minister claims that the contractor is “…routinely failing to meet a number of deadlines – the last proposed date being November 15, 2014.” In fact, the last proposed date was January 15, 2015; however the Leachate Treatment System designs were not handed over to the contractor until February 22, 2015. The construction work, done according to those designs, failed on February 25, 2015, and BK International is still awaiting the further redesign.
Minister Bulkan omitted from his interview the fact that in a recent meeting with BK International, it was established that former Minister Edghill had instructed that BK International be paid outstanding sums from January 2013 to May 2014, once the contractor was found to be compliant. After review, it was established that BK was in compliance and the payment was eventually made.
The Minister does not address the issue of the outstanding payments to BK International, which sums have been outstanding for more than a year, but states that BK “…was not in fulfillment with a lot of the requirements that he was expected to deliver.” BK has not been paid since June 2014, but continues construction and operations, handling more than twice the intended volume of waste arriving at the HBSL. Even more egregious is the fact that the Ministry has failed to observe a clear order of Court mandating that BK be paid interim payments for its monthly operation of Haags Bosch, clearly having no regard for the rule of law.
According to the Guyana Chronicle, Minister Bulkan also said that “The ministry and the bank are unhappy with the conditions that obtain at what is now a dumpsite, when it was meant to be a landfill site.” However, it should be noted that soon after taking office, Minister Bulkan and a delegation paid an impromptu visit to the HBSL and observed the buildings and paved roads all constructed by BK. He and the delegation were also able to observe the operations at the site. The Minister is therefore aware that the site is meeting the operating standards, far from his claim of “no environmental safeguards, an environmental hazard and a ticking time bomb.” It is unclear why the Minister would make these statements that are the opposite to his observations at the site.
Finally, the Minister’s claim that “… they are working assiduously to remedy the situation in an effort to bring back the operation at the site in conformity with how it was originally designed” is completely untrue; since the Minister’s initial visit there have been no interventions of any kind from him or his Ministry. We respectfully call on Minister Bulkan to retract these statements and finally settle all of BK’s outstanding claims.
Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan