Gov’t Committed to Continuous Upgrading of Ports

Photo: Donald De La Haye Wife of the Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Juliet Holness (centre), along with Mayor of Kingston, Senator, Councillor Delroy Williams (left); and President and Chief Executive Officer of the Port Authority of Jamaica, Professor Gordon Shirley, look on as one of two newly acquired pilot boats undergoes sea trials. The boats were commissioned into service during a ceremony held on Wednesday (January 24) at Newport East in Kingston.

Story Highlights

  • Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says the Government is committed to the continuous upgrading of the country’s ports in order to attract larger cargo ships and cruise vessels.
  • “Cruise liners are expanding. You must understand when cruise lines used to bring in 1,000 passengers it was big news… but now they are bringing 5,000 to 7,000, and we have to expand our port facilities to accommodate those ships, just like we are expanding (Port of Kingston) to accommodate large cargo ships,” Dr. Chang said.
  • Minister Chang said the acquisition of the vessels by the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ), represents a commitment to ensure meaningful improvements to the maritime operations of the Kingston port.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says the Government is committed to the continuous upgrading of the country’s ports in order to attract larger cargo ships and cruise vessels.

He cited work to be undertaken this year to expand berths one and two at the Montego Bay Port, as well as the expansion and redevelopment of the Ocho Rios cruise pier.

This is in addition to the ongoing upgrading of the Port of Kingston and redevelopment of the historic Port of Falmouth and the contiguous town.

“Cruise liners are expanding. You must understand when cruise lines used to bring in 1,000 passengers it was big news… but now they are bringing 5,000 to 7,000, and we have to expand our port facilities to accommodate those ships, just like we are expanding (Port of Kingston) to accommodate large cargo ships,” Dr. Chang said.

He was speaking at a ceremony for the commissioning of two new pilot boats at New Port East on Wednesday (January 24).

Minister Chang said the acquisition of the vessels by the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ), represents a commitment to ensure meaningful improvements to the maritime operations of the Kingston port.

For his part, President and Chief Executive Officer of the PAJ, Professor Gordon Shirley, said the boats “will ensure that our pilots will safely go out and board these much larger vessels”.

He said that in order to accommodate the big ships coming into Kingston, the PAJ will have to acquire much larger tugboats to be able to help them safety manoeuvre through the channel into the harbour.

“We will be completing and announcing the concession agreement for the acquisition of two very large tugs that will be able to do this very safely,” Professor Shirley said.

 

The Harbours and Port Services division of the PAJ oversees the delivery of marine services necessary for the safe and efficient movement of ships in the harbours and coastal waters of Jamaica.

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