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Airport contract winners hiring extra staff

Welcome work: Bill Morrison, CEO of SAL, winner of a contract to provide cement for the new airport project

Bermuda’s largest supplier of concrete was yesterday celebrating after winning one of its biggest ever contracts for work on the new airport.

And Bill Morrison, CEO of SAL Trading, said the news would lead to extra jobs at the firm — while Canadian developer Aecon said a total of 64 jobs would be created as a result of 12 new contracts just awarded.

Mr Morrison added: “We are looking to get some extra staff — we’re doing the sums now.

“Once we finish negotiations, we will be in a better position to answer questions about numbers.”

SAL, a major supplier of construction supplies, was responsible for the island’s biggest one-day concrete pour in 2011 at the redevelopment of the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.

The company used 110 loads to pour 14,850 cubic feet of concrete for the foundations of the new hospital building.

Mr Morrison said: “This is not as big as the hospital in terms of concrete, but it’s a very large contract.

“It’s one of the largest contracts we have ever had — and after seven years of recession, it’s very welcome.”

The Devonshire-based firm took part in an open tendering process for the contract, which will involve concrete work across the redevelopment site.

Other major contracts awarded by Aecon went to D&J Construction, which will work on formwork, reinforcing steel placement, concrete placing and taxi work, while Horsfield Landscaping and Design will install security fencing.

Correia Construction will work with Benson Steel, a Canadian specialist in structural steel, as a subcontractor working on unloading, trucking and steel erection.

Kevin Horsfield, of Horsfield Landscaping and Design, said some of the fencing his firm would install would be temporary, while other sections would be permanent.

He added that, while the company’s existing staff of ten could handle the work, other contracts meant more employees would need to be hired.

Mr Horsfield said: “It’s a very welcome contract and I can see an increase in business over the past year.

“I would certainly say the economy has improved — economically, the island is on a bit of a rebound.”

He added: “We will be able to handle the airport work in-house at the moment, but there is other work out there, not just the airport and we are interested in hiring.

“Finding suitable applicants is what I’m looking at and we’re going through the process at the moment.”

A further eight smaller contracts were also announced by Aecon.

Air-Pro will work on air conditioning, Eminence Contractors will provide flooring, Bermuda Security Services will act as locksmith and electrical service work will go to P&M Electric.

In addition, Kaissa has won a roofing contract, Bermuda Elevators will install elevators, while scaffolding will be provided by Leggo Ltd and Greymane will install drywalls.

Frank Ross, executive director of infrastructure for Aecon, said: “We are delighted to announce that we will be working with these local companies in the construction of Bermuda’s new airport terminal.

“These contracts will create 64 new jobs.”

He added the island companies’ “local knowledge and connections are a tremendous asset to the project and we look forward to working with them”.