JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Section two of the North to South link of Highway 2000 will be completed by June this year.
  • The highway segment, on which work is underway, will connect Linstead in St. Catherine to Moneague in St. Ann.
  • The US$610-million road infrastructure project is being undertaken in three sections.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, says that section two of the North to South link of Highway 2000 will be completed by June this year.

The highway segment, on which work is underway, will connect Linstead in St. Catherine to Moneague in St. Ann.

The US$610-million road infrastructure project, which is being executed under a public-private partnership (PPP) agreement between the Jamaican Government and China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), is being undertaken in three sections.

Speaking on February 20 at a PPP seminar held at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, Mrs. Simpson Miller informed that work on sections one and three of the road network have started and are scheduled for completion by 2016.

The first leg of the project connects Caymanas to Linstead in St. Catherine, while segment three will link Moneague to Ocho Rios in St. Ann.

The North-South section of Highway 2000 will be 66 kilometres in length and will allow motorists to travel from Kingston to the resort town of Ocho Rios in less than an hour.

The Prime Minister said she was particularly “excited” about the project’s potential impact on the country’s overall economic development.

“The enormous significance of this investment is that the private partner is putting up over US$600 million equity and debt without any guarantees provided by the government of Jamaica,” she stated.

Furthermore, the contract calls for the repayment, over the course of the concession agreement, of US$120 million to the National Road Operating and Construction Company (NROCC), for work done on section two.

Mrs. Simpson Miller informed that when completed, the toll road will cut travel time between Kingston and Ocho Rios from the present two hours to 45 minutes.

This reduction in travel time, she said, will provide several spin-off investment opportunities.

She noted that, for example, that the historical and cultural sites of Spanish Town and Kingston can now be used to broaden the range of attractions available to both long-stay and cruise ship visitors based on the North Coast.

Mrs. Simpson Miller said PPPs, such as the one with CHEC, play an important role in Jamaica’s ability to attract foreign direct investments (FDIs) for the expansion and modernisation of infrastructure.

She noted that such partnerships will play an increasing role in the country’s development in the short and medium terms.

“For any PPP to be successful there must be clear benefits to both the public and private partner. From the perspective of the state, the main benefit is vastly improved infrastructure, thus facilitating other investments,” she stated.

The two-day PPP seminar, which commenced on February 19, was hosted by the British High Commission, in association with the United Kingdom (UK) Trade and Investment and the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ).

It was held under the theme: ‘Delivering growth by partnership – sharing UK capabilities in PPP’.

It featured presentations from a range of experts from the public and private sectors including Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips; Director, PPP Solutions and Commonwealth Association for Infrastructure Development, David Wright; Chairman, DBJ, Joseph Matalon; and Director, Mahoe Consulting, Vanessa Rizzoli.