The project is regarded across the political spectrum as essential to the economic wellbeing of the people of Barbados. Over the years there has been a decline in the traditional markets for Barbados unrefined sugar and a corresponding reduction in return on investment by cane growers. This has been compounded by an increasing dependence of the Barbados rum industry on foreign imported molasses and the loss of vital foreign exchange by importation of refined sugars for domestic consumption. The project would address each aspect of the industry by introducing new standards of efficiency and best practice in the growing and husbandry of sugar cane, by providing a state of the art facility for the efficient processing of refined and unrefined sugars, molasses and sugar by-products, and by the cogeneration and sale to the national grid of electricity fuelled by sustainable green biomass. The overall value of the project is around US$270m.
ACE was appointed to act as overall project managers and facilitators. The main remit was to pull the various disparate parties together in this complex and multiparty project and drive the project through to financial close. This involves programme management, document management, financial modelling and providing solutions to overcome the various challenges. One of the key features of the assignment is driving adherence with strategic objectives through prolonged and complex multiparty negotiations.
Initially ACE had to establish who all the various parties were and to appoint an EPC contractor and funder. As part of this process we were required to establish and fully understand all the issues that related to the project. This meant meeting the parties and establishing a matrix of all the issues so they could be fully understood. From this, resolutions were sought in order to move the project forward. From there a detailed project programme was developed so that the tight timeline could be effectively managed.
BCIC has benefited from having an independent consultant who brings discipline and focus to the management of information and provides structured planning to maintain progress across multiple tracks and ensure ongoing integrity. We have added value at all levels through our skills in managing complex projects, experience of international financing requirements and the understanding needed to build consensus across a wide and culturally disparate stakeholder group. We have concentrated on improving communication, reducing incipient delay and leading productive dialogue.