Dredging of the Kingston Harbour, as part of the Government’s Global Logistics Hub development, is awaiting selection of an approved bidder, who will manage operations at the Kingston Container Terminal (KCT).
This was stated by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ), Professor Gordon Shirley, at the opening of a two-day symposium on the Jamaica Logistics Hub Initiative, at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.
Addressing the topic: ‘Building out the Physical Infrastructure’, he pointed out precursory engineering work for the dredging has been completed.
“The Port Authority contemplates doing this dredging in two phases – one is to optimize the existing design limit of the berths that are there now, by taking it down to a draft of 14.2 metres, and then at a later date extending it to 15.5 metres,” he noted.
Professor Shirley said that the timing of the dredging will depend, to a great extent, on completion of negotiations for KCT’s privatization, which will see the successful bidder entering into a 30-year concession with the PAJ to manage and operate the terminal.
“The Request for Proposal (RFP) has been issued to three pre-qualified bidders who are important global terminal operators – Singapore Port Authority, Dubai Port World, and CMA-CGM in a partnership with a number of other entities, including China Merchant Marine. We expect the process to be completed well within 2014,” he added.
The terminal is owned by the Port Authority of Jamaica and operated by KCT Services Limited. It is one of the region’s leading container transshipment ports, with a capacity to accommodate 2.8 million containers.
Privatization of the facility and dredging of the harbour are being pursued as the Government seeks to position Jamaica to become the fourth node in the global logistics chain, and take advantage of increased maritime activity, consequent on the opening of the expanded Panama Canal in 2015.
The canal is being expanded to accommodate larger ocean-going vessels operating in the Caribbean basin, and deepening of the Kingston Harbour, the seventh largest natural harbour in the world, will enable Jamaica to accommodate these vessels.
Press Release, February 18, 2014