JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Minister Davies says residents and other stakeholders, are kept informed regarding the proposed development of the Portland Bight/Goat Islands area.
  • The Government of Jamaica and the Port Authority of Jamaica are not seeking to bypass any environmental regulations as it relates to the project.
  • The technical feasibility study is expected to be completed by the end of April 2014.

The Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies, says the Ministry has been ensuring that environmental groups, residents and other stakeholders, are kept informed regarding the proposed development of the Portland Bight/Goat Islands area.

“There have been several town hall meetings with constituents in the Old Harbour area as well as meetings with major stakeholders including the environmental protection groups,” Dr. Davies said.

The Minister, who was speaking in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, February 25, assured that the Government of Jamaica and the Port Authority of Jamaica are not seeking to bypass any environmental regulations as it relates to the project.

China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC), with assistance from the Port Authority, has applied to the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) for a Beach Control Licence in order to begin their geotechnical investigation and the engineering survey, which are necessary to determine the feasibility of the project.

The technical feasibility study is expected to be completed by the end of April 2014. The preliminary designs for the first phase of the project will begin immediately thereafter, and is expected to be completed by the end of June this year.

“As soon as CHEC has presented the preliminary designs, (the Port Authority) will facilitate meetings with NEPA with a view to initiating the Environmental Impact Assessment process,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Dr. Davies said it is expected that 2,000 jobs will be created during construction phase and 10,000 jobs when the project is in full operation. He said that the government will negotiate the minimum ratios of Jamaicans to foreigners for the project.

A training complex will also be constructed in phase one of the project. “Training will be developed in collaboration with Jamaican tertiary institutions, the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) and the HEART Academy.

“The objective is to ensure that there are adequate Jamaicans trained and well equipped to assume employment at all levels of the organisations that will make up the industrial complex,” Dr. Davies stated.