Details of the developer to undertake work on the Caymanas Economic Zone and other facilities in St. Catherine associated with the Global Logistics Hub initiative, are expected to be announced within the next few weeks.
Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Hon. Anthony Hylton, whose Ministry is spearheading the project, made the disclosure while addressing the University of Technology’s (UTech) logistics hub forum at the institution’s Papine Campus in St. Andrew on Wednesday, June 5.
“We will be announcing who wins the competition to build the infrastructure and I can tell you, before the results (of the bids submitted) are announced, that there are some significant global players at the table,” he informed.
He said the participation of the investors is as a result of extensive consultations by the Government.
“Everyone, who we have spoken to is here…because they want to participate in (the initiative),” he stated.
The Caymanas Economic Zone is one of the key elements in the hub development, expected to cost upwards of US$8 billion. The components include: dredging of the Kingston Harbour; expanding the port facility at Fort Augusta and Gordon Cay; establishing a dry dock facility at Jackson Bay, Clarendon; establishing a trans-shipment commodity port facility near Yallahs, St. Thomas; and developing an air cargo and passenger facility at Vernamfield, in Clarendon.
Regarding, the dredging component, Port Authority of Jamaica Vice President for Business Development, Edmond Marsh, who also addressed the forum, advised that the agency is finalising a technical study to assess and determine the extent of work to be undertaken and the cost.
Mr. Hylton gave the assurance that work on the logistics hub will get underway this year.
“Those of us who are in the engine room, so to speak, and putting this thing together, are supremely confident that this will happen, beginning in a big way this year,” the Minister said.
He implored that the nation focus on “preparing for the opportunities that are coming,” as the project is “on our doorsteps” and “will happen sooner than you think.”
Development of the logistics hub would make it the fourth node in the global supply system, in addition to those in Singapore; Rotterdam, Netherlands; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Global Logistics Hub Initiative is aimed at taking advantage of the anticipated increase in maritime activities from the expansion of the Panama Canal, scheduled to be completed in 2015.
Jamaica is deemed ideally positioned for this undertaking, based on the country’s location, midway between North and South America, and in relatively close proximity to the Panama Canal.
Source: jis.gov, June 10, 2013