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Hewanorra International Airport BIDS IN

Image of SLASPA General Manager, Keigan Cox

SLASPA’s GM Satisfied With Process.

Image of SLASPA General Manager, Keigan Cox
SLASPA General Manager, Keigan Cox

GENERAL Manager of the Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA), Keigan Cox, says he is pleased with the conduct of this week’s opening of bids for the development of the Hewanorra International Airport (HIA).

That public opening of bids received was done on Monday and Cox said the Bid Evaluation Committee was present. That seven-member committee consists of two representatives from SLASPA, two from the Ministry of Finance, one from the Attorney-General’s Chambers, one from the private sector and one from an internationally-recognized auditing firm. Also present were representatives from entities that submitted bids as well as other interested parties.

Speaking to The VOICE yesterday, Cox said the process was overseen by SLASPA’s legal counsel, Peter Foster, and that there were no negative issues associated with the process or concerns expressed by any of the parties present. SLASPA, he said, is looking forward to taking the nest step in the process.

“We are now going through the bid evaluation process and are very certain that we will conclude it in the coming days,” Cox said. “We are actually pleased with the outcome of the RFQ (request for qualification) in terms of formal submissions.”

Cox said SLASPA officials are pleased that reputable international firms have submitted bid proposals. He said that based on protocol he was not at liberty to disclose the number of bids that were received, adding that upon completion of the selection process, that information would be disclosed. Nevertheless, Cox said SLASPA was “extremely satisfied” with the number of bids received.

As to the timeliness of wrapping up negotiations, Cox said he and his team are trying their best to ensure that everything works as planned according the detailed process for which special legislation had to be enacted.

“We have every intention of moving ahead as efficient and effective as we possibly can and resolve impediments, if any,” Cox said.

The winning bidder is expected to receive a 30-year lease to manage the operations of the Hewanorra International Airport, relieving SLASPA of that responsibility. The winning bidder (or concessionaire) will pay taxes to the government of Saint Lucia as per the terms set out in the lease agreement. However, the airport will remain the property of the government and people of Saint Lucia.

Cox told The VOICE that the selection process comes with stringent criteria, adding that SLASPA will ensure that due diligence is also followed in determining the winning bidder. Quoting some of the criteria, he said the winning bidder must come with the requisite skills and finances to undertake such a major project.

SLASPA, under the guidance of the IFC (International Finance Corporation), will do everything necessary to safeguard the interests of Saint Lucians, the General Manager said, adding that the project is of extreme national significance and so nothing less should be expected.

“We’re very confident, given all the due diligence and requisite research and guidance from the IFC, that we will realize success. We are moving ahead and hope to fast-track implementation. We’re two steps away from realizing a conclusion,” Cox said.

Stan Bishop began his career in journalism in March 2008 writing freelance for The VOICE newspaper for six weeks before being hired as a part-time journalist there when one of the company’s journalists was overseas on assignment.

Although he was initially told that the job would last only two weeks, he was able to demonstrate such high quality work that the company offered him a permanent job before that fortnight was over. Read full bio...


  1. I remember a decade or so ago a major project under an SLP administration came up for bids and was funded and the bids overseen by one of THE BIGGEST international organizations. There was a big tra lala about transparancy.

    Lo and behold! Who got the contract? A big time SLP funder and fund raiser partnering with an international company that had expertise in that type of building.

    As we know almost all of the big contracts of the time went to SLP supporters and moochers who are now millionaires.

    So when I now hear how this check is passed onto the Treasury or that contract has one thousand people overseeing the bid process I just laugh. The SLP knows how to manipulate the system and no dollar aint passing unless they have a big bite of the breadfruit!

    The only difference between the UWP in 2008 to 2011 and the SLP before and after is that one is overt the other covert. Lol!!

  2. It is utterly shameful of the government to give up its responsible. “… a 30-year lease to manage the operations of the Hewanorra International Airport” is akin to privatization. Privatization of the airport means that St. Lucian people are on the verge of being robbed by swindlers.

    This is a departure from the SLP orthodoxy and the P.M. should explain a few things.

    Like: Why can’t the government hire the best an brightest among us to operate the airport? Why is the government allowing a revenue generating entity be privatized? What are the short and long term benefits of this plan? Is this plan an economic distortion?

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