Solid Waste Procurement Debate in City of Bucaramanga

Columbian City Postpones Decision on $250m Waste to Energy Contract

A $250 million contract, which included provisions to develop a waste to energy plant, has been put on hold by Colombian city of Bucaramanga.

Image © Vitalogic RSU

A $250 million contract, which included provisions to develop a waste to energy plant, has been put on hold by Colombian city of Bucaramanga.

According to a report by BN Americas the deadline to award the contract for solid waste management in the city was due to be awarded to joint venture VITALOGIC RSU.

The Assembly recently criticized the procurement process and asked the control bodies to investigate. However, the company said that the City has already prolonged the closure of a landfill with the declaration of “sanitary emergencies”.

Doubts over the project’s financial model by the national government, as well as its environmental credentials and the use of new technologies, were all cited as contributing to the delay in the decision-making process.

"This tendering process must be done under the highest environmental standards and regulations,” Gilberto Blanco, the deputy attorney general was reported to have said.

The Mayor of Bucaramanga, Rodolfo Hernández, said that the awarding of the contract would be postponed for 20 days.

According to the company, Edgar Suárez, deputy of Santander, said that in the bidding documents applicants were not asked to prove that they have the “financial muscle to do everything” and that without that, “no insurer will issue a guarantee policy".

Suárez was reported to have said that this situation had led to the presentation of "paper companies". 

However, William Zambrano Cetina, the company’s lawyer, said that if these guarantee policy were not available, it was because this requirement was not clear in the specifications, and that later on "it was emphatically pointed out that after having presented the offer, this could not be improved."

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