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Former PLP chairman awarded National Sports Centre contract

And the winner is ...: Damon Wade’s company, Atlantic Energy Solutions Group has won the contract to install solar panels at the National Sports Centre (File photograph)

A former chairman of the Progressive Labour Party who resigned his post after demanding that his company should be first in line for Government contracts has been awarded a $3.2 million contract by a Government quango.

Damon Wade’s company, Atlantic Energy Solutions Group, will install solar panels at the National Sports Centre.

Mr Wade was told he was the preferred bidder for the contract in September, 2018, a month before he was appointed PLP chairman.

But in December 2019 he lost confidence vote by the party executive after he accused Cabinet of “incompetence, arrogance and vindictiveness” in relation to the project.

He resigned in January, 2020 at which time Lovitta Foggo, the then-Minister of Labour, Community Affairs and Sport insisted that no contract had been awarded.

Last month Craig Cannonier, the Opposition public works spokesman said he had heard that Mr Wade’s company had won the contract.

Speaking in the House of Assembly on June 18, Mr Cannonier said: “I’m hoping that the Premier or whoever the minister is in charge will clarify this matter as to whether or not the contract has finally been awarded to the former chairman of the PLP party, Damon Wade.

“And if this has been awarded to him when can we expect a public statement to come out?”

Late on Thursday night, Ernest Peets, the minister for youth, culture and sport, confirmed Mr Wade will be carrying out the work.

Dr Peets said: “In 2017, the board of trustees of the National Sports Centre were looking for ways to decrease rising energy costs while reducing the carbon footprint of the facility.

“Such a project would also involve a renewable energy source that could also provide some revenue opportunities.

“Following a public tender process, Atlantic Energy Solutions Group, a Bermuda owned company with all Bermudian staff, was selected as the successful bidder.

“They have an excellent track record of similar works on the island and have evaluated the NSC’s current energy system. They have already identified opportunities to reduce energy demand and we look forward to working with their innovative team.”

A spokesperson for the National Sports Centre also confirmed the contract.

The spokesperson said: “We are committed to reducing the carbon footprint of the facility by introducing energy saving technologies which will result in reduced electrical energy consumption.

“So we are pleased to partner with an experienced and reputable firm such as Atlantic Energy Solutions Group who specialises in energy reduction technologies and systems.”

“We are extremely excited to have reached this milestone. It has been a long-standing goal for both the Government and the NSC to implement initiatives that will increase energy efficiency throughout the facility and believe this project is a significant step in that direction.

“The NSC remains a staple in our community and we will continue to explore opportunities, such as this renewable energy project, which will provide capacity to enhance our services to our members and the general public.”

This story has been corrected to state that Damon Wade resigned as chairman of the Progressive Labour Party in January, 2020 and was not dismissed. The story has also been clarified to show that he did not receive the contract to install solar panels a the National Sports Centre in 2018 but was named the preferred bidder for the contract.