Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has given full support of plans by Kingston Wharves Limited (KWL) in the creation of a safe and orderly port community.
“The Government supports and endorses your idea, mission and vision… and we will support you with the regulations and legislation necessary to ensure that it happens,” he assured.
The Prime Minister was speaking at the official opening of KWL’s 160,000 square foot Total Logistics Facility (TLF) at 195 Second Street, Kingston, on January 25.
Earlier, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of KWL, Grantley Stephenson, outlined plans for the transformation of the Newport West area, which, he noted, will require the removal of vendors from certain areas and having a designated zone for truckers.
He said the aim is to create a gated community and, ultimately, an industrial park.
The Prime Minister noted that development of the area will require large swathes of land.
“So, people who own land will have to appreciate this transformation process and not become an obstacle to that process,” he said.
“It is not just here. For the entire Kingston to be transformed, people who own lands and are not developing these lands must come to the understanding that they can become part of the development process by making their lands available to people who have the skills and know-how to make Kingston grow,” he added.
Mr. Holness commended KWL on the US$20-million investment, which, he noted, is already reaping rewards, with a number of companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, Castrol, Magna Motors, Digicel and ZTE occupying sections of the facility.
The state-of-the-art TLF is an integrated warehouse processing and distribution centre, designed to transform the ease of importing and exporting commercial cargo and personal effects.
“This facility is the single largest warehouse operating within the boundaries of the port system and the special economic zones (SEZs),” Mr. Stephenson said.
He noted that 15 local subcontractors and more than 100 workmen were involved in the construction of the facility, which utilises natural ventilation.
“Therefore, unlike other warehouses, this is cool at any time of the day. A solar panel has also been installed on the roof. We have also been harvesting rainwater, which provides the backup supply as well as water for our fire-suppression system,”
Mr. Stephenson explained.
He informed that a $1.6-million drainage system was put in place to address flooding in the area, and will benefit the wider community.
Mr. Stephenson informed that KWL will, this year, roll out new services that are going to “significantly improve the delivery of service to the customers of the warehouse”.
For her part, State Minister in the Finance and the Public Service Ministry, Hon. Fayval Williams, told JIS News that the TLF represents an important investment for the country’s logistics development.
“It is obviously significant for Jamaica as a whole in terms of placing us on the path to becoming a global logistics hub. We are geographically well-positioned, and logistics have a lot of potential for us. There is also the value-added side opening up a lot of employment for Jamaicans,” she noted.
The official opening was followed by a tour of several sections of the facility.