Scores attend hospital development meeting
There has been an “outpouring of interest” from local construction firms wanting to help build Bermuda's new hospital, a meeting heard yesterday.
Double the expected number of people about 350 in total attended a session at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess to hear how to get involved with the $247 million public private partnership (PPP) project.
Alan Burland, president of main contractor BCM McAlpine, told those gathered: “We're keen to have as much of the hospital redevelopment as possible undertaken by skilled and productive Bermudians and by businesses that are reliable, effective and competitive.
“What's different this time is the outpouring of interest in the project, from numerous businesses and individuals, due to the deep recession.
“The phone is literally ringing off the hook and people are streaming through the door. The number of you here today is further testimony of this exceptional high level of interest.”
The meeting also heard from BCM McAlpine CEO Mike Ewles, who explained PPP and outlined the scope and timing of the development and the key trades and materials required, and Trade Minister Kim Wilson.
Senator Wilson said information not normally made public was being shared, in order to ensure the process for bidding for work was as transparent and open as possible.
“The construction industry, like many other sectors in Bermuda is now feeling the impact of the global economic challenge,” she said.
“There is a growing scarcity of new projects, which renders the hospital project particularly important to the industry. Your mere presence confirms your interest in participation.”
She said the project was of national importance and Government was committed to having as many Bermudians involved as possible.
“I cannot promise that every company represented here today will ultimately be selected to work on this project,” she said.
“Further, I need to make it clear from the outset that in order for this project to be successful some foreign labour will indeed be required.
“However, I pledge to work to ensure that local companies are provided with an equal opportunity to compete.”
She said companies interested in being selected would need to be committed and prepared to learn new skills, as required.
“Gather as much information as you can before submitting your bids so that you know exactly what is required and you can demonstrate how your company will be in a position to provide it,” she advised, adding that government agencies would be on hand to assist.
“I urge you to work with us as we endeavour to assist you in acquiring the tools that will be necessary to ensure your participation in this and other projects.”
l Useful websites: www.bhb.bm, www.pagethealthservices.com.