$2.5-Billion Port Development in Montego Bay Back on Track

Photo: Glenis Rose Chairman of the Port Authority of Jamaica, Professor Gordon Shirley, addresses commissioning ceremony for liquefied natural gas ((LNG) at the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) Bogue power plant in St. James, recently.

Story Highlights

  • Chairman of the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ), Professor Gordon Shirley, says the construction phase of the $2.5-billion master plan for the development of the port of Montego Bay is back on track.
  • Professor Shirley said the PAJ, in the national interest, made the decision to put the port-development plans on hold to facilitate the construction of the LNG terminal at the Montego Bay port by New Fortress Energy.
  • The Chairman said that in addition to the construction of new cruise-terminal buildings and ground transportation staging areas, the master plan also includes modification to the container freight station, paving of expanded cargo-storage areas, installation of new reefer-storage facilities, and improved lighting.

Chairman of the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ), Professor Gordon Shirley, says the construction phase of the $2.5-billion master plan for the development of the port of Montego Bay is back on track.

Speaking at the recent commissioning of liquefied natural gas (LNG) at the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) Bogue power plant in St. James, Professor Shirley said the PAJ, in the national interest, made the decision to put the port-development plans on hold to facilitate the construction of the LNG terminal at the Montego Bay port by New Fortress Energy.

“When the Authority was approached by New Fortress Energy less than two years ago to facilitate the shipment of LNG to our terminal in Montego Bay and to allow for the construction of the storage facility on our port lands, it was not difficult for us to convince our Board and our parent Ministry that this was something that we should support in the national interest,” he said.

Professor Shirley pointed out that the mandate of the PAJ is to develop the port infrastructure in the country in a manner that supports economic growth and job creation, adding that the LNG project “fell squarely within our mandate”.

“Our challenge was that the request came at a time when we had already begun the process of developing a new master plan for the port of Montego Bay to respond to the growing demand for cruise-vessel arrivals, the expansion in containerised cargo, and the growth in dry bulk,” he noted.

“These demands reflect the expansion of economic activity in the fastest growing area of the country. Fortunately, the request from New Fortress Energy came before our development plans had moved to the construction phase,” Professor Shirley added.

The Chairman said that in addition to the construction of new cruise-terminal buildings and ground transportation staging areas, the master plan also includes modification to the container freight station, paving of expanded cargo-storage areas, installation of new reefer-storage facilities, and improved lighting.

He added that the PAJ is making plans to increase the berthing capacity at the Montego Bay port to accommodate two dedicated cruise berths, a separate berth for the handling of containerised and bulk cargo, and a separate berth for the handling of fuels.

“On completion, it will give the port the flexibility to handle multiple vessels simultaneously and the capacity to process an expanded range of cargo to facilitate the growth of western Jamaica,” Professor Shirley said.

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