Sale of Muskrat Falls equipment should have been offered to N. L. auction houses, says owner – CBC. ca

Shawn Roche of Roche’s Auctions, pictured here in a file photo, says it’s upsetting a tender wasn’t issued for the auction of equipment used at Muskrat Drops. (Eddy Kennedy/CBC)

A St. John’s auctioneer wants to know why Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro entrusted the sale of  gear used during the construction of Muskrat Falls to a British Columbia auction house without issuing a soft to local companies.

The Oct. 3 auction was handled by Ritchie Bros. Auctions, a publicly traded auction home based in Burnaby.

The auction was full of many high-priced items, including the Mack pump truck that sold for $675, 000, a set of shipping containers that will sold for $282, 500 and several trucks that people paid between $13, 000 plus $18, 500.

Shawn Roche of Roche’s Auctioneering  says the public sale would have put millions into the pockets of community auction homes but a tender or request for proposal was never issued with regard to the auction.   Roche said he has tried to speak with representatives from N. L. Hydro and from Nalcor Energy, which operates the Crown utility.

“I’ve never seen it not happen. I don’t understand. When I called in nobody would return my phone call. …  There was no contract, there was no RFP, nothing, ” Roche said  Tuesday.

Roche said And. L. Hydro would have likely saved the large sum of money  — he estimates about $100, 000  — by going with a local company.

A photo of a large pumping truck on an auction lot.
The most expensive item of the lot has been this Mack pump truck, which sold for $675, 000. (Richie Bros. Auctions)

Auction houses in Newfoundland and Labrador aren’t allowed in order to charge a buyer’s premium and typically receive eight per cent commission, he said.   Roche claims Ritchie Bros. received between nine and 15 % commission rate and charged a buyer’s premium plus buyer’s fee.

A representative associated with Ritchie Bros. Auctions told CBC News they generally don’t publicly release their commission and fees, and noted commissions vary among public sale houses.

Additionally, photos on the auction house website show many of the trucks with Nalcor branding still on them. Roche states vehicles usually aren’t  auctioned with corporate branding still on them  as it provides an opportunity for a person to impersonate a member from the company or hurt the company’s image.

But in the statement to CBC, In. L. Hydro said decals are removed before the vehicles are sold.

This pickup truck sold in the auction regarding $18, 500. Although the pictures on the public sale house web site still feature Nalcor branding, N. T. Hydro claims decals are removed before the vehicles are sold. (Richie Bros. Auctions)

D. L. Hydro also confirmed a tender wasn’t released and said  Ritchie Bros. is “the world’s largest industrial auctioneer, and one of the world’s largest sellers of used equipment for that construction, transportation, energy  and other industries. inch

According in order to the statement, the equipment was grouped in with other ongoing auctions, which  resulted in more than  4, 000 bids from more than 40 countries.

“Given the large quantity and specialized nature of some of the equipment, it is important that these assets are usually marketed to as large a market as possible to ensure the highest possible resale value, ” reads the declaration.

“Given the particular limited size of the neighborhood market intended for this products, it had been important to market the disposal to a broad buyer base. ”

Roche said he hopes tenders will continue to be issued in the future, because he knows auction houses in Newfoundland and Labrador are a lot more than capable of handling larger auctions like the products at Muskrat Falls.

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