The Ocean Flower II, which created a stir in this country for several months, has three prospective buyers and is expected to be sold shortly. The new buyer will use the vessel for inter-island transport. Yesterday, the vessel remained docked in Curacao.
Confirmation of the impending sale of the vessel came yesterday from Lester Kenny local agent for Bridgemans Services.
Kenny said two of the three proposed buyers have inspected the vessel, and have described it as being in perfect condition for inter-island transport
Asked by Newsday if he could identify which countries the proposed buyers are from, he said it was definitely not in the Caribbean. He said all negotiations are being done by Andrew Purdy, the owner of the vessel, and he expects negotiations to be concluded shortly.
The ship is flying a Panamanian flag, has all the clearances, travels between 27-32 knots and is in tip top shape, Kenny said. He also pointed out that all four engines are working efficiently.
Kenny said when Bridgemans made a bid to service the inter-island route between Trinidad and Tobago late last year, the company came first in the bidding. This, he said, was due to Bridgemans putting forward the lowest bid of US$17,000 per day to provide the service.
He said he cannot explain what transpired after “but the government did not take the Ocean Flower the second time around because it was not politically prudent. Bridgemans would have lost millions of US dollars because of this fiasco.” Kenny did not wish to divulge if there will be any legal challenge by Bridgemans.
He however confirmed that the proposal for the extension of the one-year contract granted to Bridgemans for the Cabo Star vessel comes up for renewal at the end of March.
“This is an opportunity that was lost by the government to reconsider the Ocean Flower which would have been less for what they are now willing to put out for the purchase of this vessel from Asia.” The Ocean Flower II arrived in Chaguaramas on September 19 last year and was later dry docked for repairs.
The vessel left for Curacao late December after being here for three months.