CAY Hill–General contractor for the construction of the general hospital for St. Maarten Inso and the Italian Government have a “strong desire” to start with the construction of the new hospital in February in line with the original planning.
“Inso and the Italian Government will do what is needed to restore trust and confidence with SMMC and its stakeholders including the lender’s consortium and demonstrate to St. Maarten that the new hospital will be built as planned and agreed,” Condotte/Inso Extraordinary Commissioner Professor Giovanni Bruno said.
A delegation consisting of SMMC representatives and Health Minister Emil Lee recently visited Inso’s head office in Florence, Italy. Lee initiated the trip after he was notified that Inso was admitted into the Extraordinary Administrative Procedure (EAP) in Italy to find out more details of what the EAP entails for Inso and the St. Maarten General Hospital.
During the meetings with Inso’s management team and representatives of the Italian Government, the St. Maarten delegation was updated on the EAP process that was initiated by Condotte last year to bring their strategic subsidiaries into their EAP.
One of the three Italian State appointed Extraordinary Commissioners for Inso, Professor Giovanni Bruno said the EAP is an effective programme managed and backed by the Italian Government to safeguard strategic companies like Condotte and Inso including their workforce. The EAP protects Inso against its creditors and is aimed to provide Inso with a fresh and clean start without any old debts, the SMMC delegation was told.
Inso’s newly appointed General Manager Luca Dal Fabbro said Inso is not bankrupt. As the EAP is a very specific procedure and only applied in Italy, there can be a lot of misunderstanding regarding the EAP, but due to the EAP, Inso “is and remains a financially sound company.”
The Italian government, which is financially backing up companies in Extraordinary Administrative Procedure (EAP) with guarantees, has allotted 190 million euros in guarantees to Inso’s parent company Condotte d’Acqua (Condotte). “At this moment, Inso does not need any financial support from the Italian Government as Inso is able to run its regular business operations,” emphasized Dal Fabbro.
The Sint Maarten delegation was told Inso is continuing business as usual and recently won a new project in Malta and hired Fabbro as its new General Manager to head the operation going forward. Bruno disclosed that continuation of the company and its entire staff is “an important priority” for the Italian Government.
Because of the EAP, Inso is now effectively a government company and Inso will either be restructured or sold as a stand-alone company (including its infrastructure, entire staff and project portfolio). Selling the shares of Inso will only be possible to a strong and capable buyer as the Italian Government is demanding strict guarantees from the new owner of Inso for a period of two years to safeguard completion of the projects and workforce. Bruno expects that the EAP could be concluded in May 2019.
Inso and the Italian Government consider the new hospital for St. Maarten a strategic project and have the strong desire to start with the construction in February 2019 in line with the original planning, SMMC was assured. The total construction time would be approximately four years (with the main building being ready in approximately three years).
SMMC says Bruno confirmed that all the regular guaranties and performance bonds will be in place as per the international FIDIC contract that was signed in September 2016. Dal Fabbro added that he understands that the EAP procedure created a lot of commotion and discussion in St. Maarten as it was unexpected and new for St. Maarten.
“The meetings with Inso and its Italian state appointed administrators were fruitful and our objective of getting more information were met. This is an important step in the right direction. We are working together with the Tripartite, the stakeholders and the lenders to find solutions to realize our much-needed hospital as per the planned timeline,” Lee said
SMMC General Director Kees Klarenbeek said the next step would be to continue the discussions with the lenders of the St. Maarten General Hospital project and the World Bank and to share the information that was received during the trip. “I’m confident that the lenders and the World Bank all have the same goal and that is securing the best terms and conditions for SMMC to build the new hospital. We hope that we can provide clarity on the next steps within the next couple of weeks. If we are able to find a definitive solution before mid-February 2019, we will not lose any time in the construction of the new hospital and we should be able to start using the main building per the end of 2021 whilst the wing and the parking facilities would be ready by the end of 2022,” Klarenbeek said.
Inso has an annual revenue of 200 million euros and has built more than 80 hospitals in more than 20 countries worldwide. Currently, Inso has a project portfolio of approximately 1.3 billion euros. Inso has been selected to build the new hospital in St. Maarten based on their technical and financial ability (as per the 2016 procurement procedure). SMMC said Inso has been working accordingly, as can be concluded by obtaining the recently issued building permit from VROMI in approximately three months’ time.
Bron: Daily Herald