29 April 2011

Mare Island ship dismantler believes its bid on four vessels was best overall:

A Mare Island company's recent loss of some $2.5 million in a federal ship dismantling bid appears, on its face, to be a matter of only about $12,000.

But the loss could involve other factors not yet disclosed, officials said.

Allied Defense Recycling managing director Jay Anast said this week the small difference between bids from his company and the winning Texas ship dismantler is not bad for the company's first competitive bid.

"We lost it by 0.25 percent," Anast said. "That doesn't mean we're not competitive. It's very, very small dollars here that was the differential."

Anast questioned whether the U.S. Maritime Administration's decision to award the contracts to a company thousands of miles from the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet's "mothball" vessels took into account the environmental impacts. He estimated the government would use about 1 million gallons of diesel fuel to haul the aging vessels to Texas.

Maritime Administration officials would not divulge what specific factors were considered in the award of the winning bid for the four vessels -- the Clamp, Sagamore, Reclaimer and Bolster. Agency spokeswoman Cheron Wicker would say only that bids are based on the "best value to the government."

Generally included in a best value assessment are price, capacity to actively and continuously work the vessel, past performance and completion schedule, Wicker wrote in an email.

Wicker added that unsuccessful bidders may request a debriefing with the Maritime Administration for further details.

Anast said he will seek a debriefing on how Allied Defense Recycling's bid compared to Marine Metals' winning bid. He alleged that the government did not add contingency funds to the price of the bid, in case of cost overruns. In particular, Anast said, repairs of aging ships while they are being cleaned to prepare for travel to Texas could easily bump a contract's value over the $12,000 bid difference between the two companies.

Anast went on to use the example of the M/V Lincoln. That ship was recently cleaned in preparation for the trip to Texas but a leak caused delay for unexpected repairs.

Were such ships to come straight to Mare Island, seaworthiness would not be an issue, Anast said. Allied Defense Recycling is dismantling two former mothball fleet vessels.

Maritime Administration officials were unable to immediately respond to Anast's concerns Thursday.

Contact staff writer Jessica A. York at (707) 553-6834 or jyork@timesheraldonline.com.

Source: Times-Herald. By Jessica A. York. 29 April 2011

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