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Story Highlights

  • Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr. the Hon Omar Davies, says the Government is serious about implementing the Portland Bight Economic Zone and Transshipment Port.
  • The project, if finally approved for implementation, will be a major transport and logistics hub, serving both the regional and international markets.
  • CHEC will submit Terms of Reference to the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) for approval to commence the environmental impact assessment.

Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr. the Hon Omar Davies, says the Government is serious about implementing the Portland Bight Economic Zone and Transshipment Port.

“The Administration does not pretend that it is ambivalent about the project.  We want to implement it. Both sides are seriously engaged in carrying out the necessary preliminary work for implementation,” Dr. Davies said.

The Minister was making his contribution to the 2014/15 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, May 14.

He noted that the project, if finally approved for implementation, will be a major transport and logistics hub, serving both the regional and international markets.

He explained that China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) is currently working on the detailed technical and feasibility studies, whilst the Port Authority is evaluating the proposed conditionalities.

The Minister further commented that on completion of the feasibility studies, CHEC will submit Terms of Reference to the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) for approval to commence the environmental impact assessment.

“This phase, inclusive of final designs, is expected to take approximately nine months,” Dr. Davies said.

He also mentioned that Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, along with his colleague ministers met with Chairman and President of ZPMC, Dr. Hailiang Song.

ZPMC manufactures 70 per cent of the world’s demand for cranes used at transshipment ports.

“ZPMC is seriously examining the establishment of a manufacturing facility in the economic zone which will fabricate these cranes for the Caribbean and Latin American markets,” Dr. Davies informed.

Meanwhile, the Transport Minister stated that even whilst the preliminary work proceeds, all regulatory processes will be duly followed.

“Only when these approvals are in place will a final decision be taken on the project by the Cabinet,” Dr. Davies said.

He added that the activities being contemplated in the Portland Bight area are complementary to the activities being pursued for the privatisation of the Kingston Container Terminal.

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