Last update: 26-Jul-2014 6:30 am
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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eTecK to complete Tamana complex at end of month
The controversial eTecK flagship complex in Tamana is expected to be completed at the end of this month. Making the statement was Kelvin Mahabir, president of the Evolving TecKnologies and Enterprise Development Company Ltd (eTecK) at Friday’s joint select committee meeting in Parliament. The company is a state enterprise charged with the non-energy diversification of the economy. It has spent some $1 billion on its flagship project, the Tamana Science and Technology Park.
Also representing eTecK were its deputy chairman Cheryl Abrams, director Robert Salandy, vice-president of real-estate assets David Gunn and other executive members. Heading the committee was Independent Senator Dr Victor Wheeler.
The issue of the park was raised by Independent Senator David Small who said, “Regarding the Tamana park, I am seeing that its schedule for handover is roughly around the end of this month and I have seen that you sent in your submissions that all substantiated claims by contractors have been settled.”
Small then asked whether there were unsubstantiated claims, to which Mahabir said when contracts were terminated in early 2011, there would have been a number of people who would have done work on the park and at that time Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) funds to continue work on the park had been reduced.
“We took a decision that rather than leave these contracts in abeyance, which would have incurred a potential of $6 million a month in penalties and interests, that we bring them to a close, pay people for whatever work they had done up to that point in time. “Subsequent to that is go back out to tender the remaining work that we had, and we have completed what we call phase one and we are just cleaning up the snag list for the flagship building,” Mahabir said.
He said about two or three years ago there was a marketing and promotional process to sell the park, but investors would have been deterred as it was not complete. “What we decided to do this time was wait until we were more advanced in the process before we go back out. So we have gone back out in the last six months and we now have approximately 15 per cent of the landscape in Tamana phase one taken up.
“We have a first and a second visit taking place in April of a tenant that would take 50 per cent of the flagship building, so are hoping that one goes through. “We are now moving to go to site selection people, to real estate people, to bring people to occupy the rest of the building,” Mahabir said. He said the target for this year was to tenant 40 per cent of phase one, with the intent it would be fully tenanted by the end of 2016.