PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — An ongoing situation in the Netherlands between Schiphol International and contractor Ballast Nedam has prompted Independent MP Christophe Emmanuel to write to Minister of TEATT Roger Lawrence to obtain information on any potential fallout for the re-construction of the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA).
In the week of August 27, 2021, several media outlets in the Netherlands reported on the significant financial losses of Schiphol International Airport in the first half of 2021 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Included in these reports are the delays Schiphol is now faced with on the construction of a new wing at the airport due to conflicts with contractor Ballast Nedam.
The reports specifically mentioned rising costs and shortage of building materials. Dutch media has reported that the issue between Schiphol and Ballast Nedam could result in a legal dispute between the two.
“As Schiphol is heavily involved at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) and as Ballast Nedam has recently been awarded the bid for the re-construction of PJIA, I obviously have my concerns and would appreciate if the Minister would answer a few questions so that we are clear moving forward,” MP Emmanuel said.
The MP is seeking answers to the following question:
1. Has Schiphol or Ballast Nedam informed PJIA of any consequences for the re-construction of PJIA due to the reported dispute between Schiphol and Ballast Nedam? If yes, please elaborate.
2. Has Schiphol or Ballast Nedam informed PJIA of any cost overruns for the re-construction of PJIA due to increase of material cost? If yes, please indicate how much cost overrun can be expected?
3. Has Schiphol or Ballast Nedam informed PJIA of any delays in the re-construction of PJIA due to shortage of material? If yes, please indicate the length of this delay.
4. Please explain if there is any clause in the re-construction contract of PJIA that indemnifies PJIA from additional costs related to third party disputes and delays.
5. If a legal dispute develops between Schiphol and Ballast Nedam, how will this affect the re-construction of PJIA?
6. Please indicate if the re-construction is on schedule and if not, why not?
“Lastly Minister, in the event that PJIA does not have any information regarding the aforementioned questions or if they have not been briefed by Schiphol or Ballast Nedam, I hereby also request that you insist that PJIA reaches out to both Schiphol and Ballast Nedam with the questions in order to provide you with the answers. You can in turn inform my person and Parliament accordingly,” MP Emmanuel concluded.
The MP was very vocal against Ballast Nedam being awarded the contract to re-construct the airport citing its criminal history of bribing governments and other officials in at least to other countries.