JIS News

Container traffic at the Kingston Container Terminal increased by almost 26 per cent last year as a result of the completion of fourth phase expansion works at the facility by the Port Authority of Jamaica.
“Between January and November 2005, 1.394 million TEUs were handled by the port compared to 1.1 million TEUs during the same period in 2004. This translates to a 25.71 increase,” said Transport and Works Minister, Robert Pickersgill.
Mr. Pickersgill, who was providing reporters with an update on projects being implemented by agencies within the Ministry yesterday (Feb.1) at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, pointed out that as part of the expansion project, the port’s capacity, which previously stood at 1.2 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) was increased to 1.5 million TEUs.
Work has since begun on the fifth phase of the Kingston Container Terminal expansion project (KCT5). “The project’s objective is to increase the Terminal’s capacity from 1.5 million TEUs to 3.2 million, and this is to be done by 2009. This is to be achieved by the construction of 482 metres of berth and the construction of 65 hectares of container yard to include underground ducts and high mast lights,” the Transport Minister told reporters.
This fifth phase will also include the procurement of six super post panamax ship-to-shore gantry cranes and 24 four-high straddle carriers.
“What is happening on the ports is simply spectacular. I’m told by the Executive Chairman, Noel Hylton, that when those announcements have been realised, we will perhaps rank in the twenties in the top 100 ports in the world,” he noted.
Turning attention to the Montego Bay Cruise Ship Terminal, Minister Pickersgill revealed that the facility, which has a berth capacity of 420 metres, capable of accommodating one ultra voyager class cruise liner together with a 5,000 square metre terminal building, was being expanded.
“The project’s objective is the construction of additional berth facility to accommodate two ultra voyager class cruise liners simultaneously, and the construction of a pleasure boat landing,” the Transport Minister told reporters.
Another terminal building to facilitate the unimpeded flow of an additional 3,500 persons within two hours will also be constructed as part of this expansion programme, which is on target to be completed by December 2007.
As for the Commercial Free Zone Distribution Centre, the former Cable and Wireless facility at Newport West was acquired for the first phase of operations of the distribution hub and the Tinson Pen property has been identified for phase two. The Jamaica Logistics Company is projected to begin operations in March this year, and based on negotiations between the Port Authority and the Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ), construction on the Tinson Pen Distribution Hub will commence in January 2007, and be fully operational by March 2008.
Meanwhile, the Minister reported a marginal increase in the number of cruise ship visitors.
“Between January and November 2005, 987,558 cruise passengers visited Jamaica compared to 961,154 during the same period in 2004. This represents a 2.7 increase,” Minister Pickersgill informed.