At a press conference on 17 July, both the Chairperson and General Manager of the BVI Electricity Corporation informed the media that Power52, a company based in the United States of America was awarded the previously announced contract for the renewable energy project on Anegada.
During that sit down the members of the media queried whether there were any local contenders for the contract and were informed that no local company applied. However, in a public announcement on 27 July, Henry Creque who was a former employee of the BVIEC announced that his company applied; which is contrary to the statement made by the Corporation that there were no local candidates.
In his statement, Mr. Creque announced, “Local firms – Creque’s Engineering Services and aTec BVI were proud to have participated in the Tender Process for the Anegada Solar Plus Storage Project for the British Virgin Islands Electricity Corporation.”
In criticizing the comment that was made at the BVIEC press conference Mr. Creque said: “Contrary to responses of the Corporation’s General Manager, Mr. Leroy Abraham, to a series of questions posed by the media at a recent press conference, we are very pleased to advise that our group of firms, which consisted of three BVI companies out of four, did indeed tender for this first-ever utility-scale solar project in the British Virgin Islands. This fact was made clear in our proposal’s cover letter, throughout the entire document, and in all post-bid correspondences between our project team, BVIEC, and their consultants. We were therefore perplexed when Mr. Abraham indicated that there were no local companies that submitted proposals.”
“It was somewhat puzzling and disappointing to hear Mr. Abraham deny that there was local participation in this bidding process. Every government administration in the history of this Territory, dating back to the late Hon. H. L. Stoutt, has always verbalised an unswerving commitment to the development of local, BVI-based companies and workers, and remarks of that nature could only serve to undermine the development of local enterprises. We, therefore, wish to set this matter straight immediately,” the local entrepreneur announced.
During the press conference, it was explained that the winning company was selected because it submitted the lowest bid. On the other hand, Creque stated that the difference between the two bid submissions was not great: “Based on the summary report published in the media, the bids were very competitive and we, the majority BVI group, were a mere 1.35 percent higher than the cheapest turnkey price tendered,” he said.
While continuing to highlight the discrepancies in what occurred and what the BVIEC reported Creque mentioned: “We were however informed that our team was the most experienced and qualified out of four submitting bidders.”
Further, Creque stated that his team has some concerns about the administration of the process by the BVI Electricity Corporation. “Despite, and as a result of that fact, we fully intend to continue our pursuit to transform the energy sector in the Virgin Islands and to pursue accountability, fairness, and transparency throughout this and future processes. Via this medium, I am extremely pleased to advise that our team has also submitted a proposal for a 10-megawatt solar installation at a location on Tortola. The project proposal was submitted on 6 March 2020 in response to the Premier’s Statement on 24 February 2020 titled “Building the Energy Sector”. This installation would actually supply BVIEC’s main power grid with even more clean energy than the Anegada initiative,” he added.