Saint John Common Council has approved the release of the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) document for bidders interested the City's Safe Clean Drinking Water project. The RFQ marks a significant milestone for the project.Mayor Mel Norton said:
"The RFQ tells industry that we're on schedule, we've done our homework, examined our system and needs closely, and have taken the necessary steps to move to procurement."
The City has assembled an experienced team and established a project office. Dean Price is the Project Manager for this historic project which will be one of the largest of its type in Canada.
The City currently supplies surface water (from lakes) to its system users. Last year, the City began testing for groundwater (underground wells or aquifers) on both the East and West sides in an effort to reduce project costs as ground water costs less to treat. Tests did not support an adequate supply on the East side however, tests received back last month from the West wellfield indicated that there is enough water to supply groundwater to the west side. That water can be treated at the Spruce Lake Treatment Plant.
This means capacity at the East side plant can be reduced to 75 MLD (million litres per day) and that there is no need for some of the distribution and storage upgrades needed to supply East side water to the West side.
Dean Price said:
"From the beginning of this project, the City has been committed to finding for ways to deliver quality water and water service that is affordable for ratepayers. This latest development demonstrates our commitment."
This development will result in significant savings for the project. Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) has refreshed the Business Case based on this information and the project shows value for money.
Procurement for the project will take place in two stages. The RFQ is the first stage and its purpose is to pre-qualify three bidders who will then respond to an RFP (Request for Proposals).
The RFQ containing the entire project scope is available on the Tenders and Proposals Page at: www.saintjohn.ca and through through the New Brunswick Opportunities Network (NBON).
On November 22, 2013, the Governments of Canada and New Brunswick and PPP Canada announced a combined investment of up to $114.6 million to the City of Saint John Safe Clean Drinking Water project. The federal government announced it is providing an up to $57.3 million non-repayable P3 Canada Fund contribution to the project while the Province of New Brunswick is providing an up to $57.3 million contribution through the Regional Development Corporation.Under the proposed public-private partnership (P3) arrangement, project risks (including design, construction, financing, operations and maintenance will be transferred to a private partner, who will bear responsibility for any cost overruns and delays.