Would-be dock operators invited to apply
Bermuda’s only cargo dock may be operated by a new licensee for the first time in more than half a century.
The Corporation of Hamilton has issued a request for proposal for the “exclusive maintenance, improvement and operating concession” for the Port of Hamilton cargo dock area.
Proposals must be submitted by 3pm on December 19. An advertisement in Friday’s edition of The Royal Gazette says the RFP is available from City Hall weekdays during normal business hours.
Stevedoring Services Ltd has operated the Hamilton docks under licence since 1966. The company’s current terminal operating licence, granted in 2016, expires in February 2021.
Until now, the company’s licence has been rolled over on expiration; this is the first time that it must bid in competition with other interested parties.
Warren Jones is chief executive officer of Polaris Holding Company Ltd, the parent company of SSL, the island’s only stevedoring company.
Mr Jones said: “Obviously, we are very concerned as we have a large investment in equipment. In the last year, we bought a $2 million crane — we had to make that investment without the security of knowing we would get a return on investment.”
He added: “We don’t have a choice. Everything in this industry is expensive; the scale of the equipment suggests the costs involved. We are the only company with the equipment specifically for this industry, but that doesn’t stop someone else from buying equipment.”
The Polaris CEO said he is keen to learn what the maintenance and improvement portions of the RFP mean.
“That’s a new title, one we haven’t seen before,” he says. “I want to get an idea of what the title of the RFP means.”
That will involve a wait, however.
“I walked over to City Hall to pick it up — but they told me it’s not ready,” Mr Jones said on Friday.
“They said it’s due to the hurricane. They are going to run another ad when it’s ready.
“When they put something out, saying to pick it up, it should be available.”
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