JIS News

The Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) today (Nov. 17) signed a five year contract valued at US$210 Million with the Maersk shipping line, for the provision of transshipment services at the Kingston Container Terminal. Prime Minister P.J. Patterson, who participated in the signing ceremony at a function held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, said the contract was indicative of the tremendous development of the Port of Kingston and the soundness of the vision of the Government in facilitating its development.
He said the maritime sector was identified as one of the clusters for development under the National Industrial Policy, hence the several expansion phases at the port since the construction of the North Terminal in the early 1970s. He expressed confidence that the PAJ would meet its obligations given its proven track record of reliability and the offering of professional services to its clients.
In welcoming the Maersk Line, Prime Minister Patterson said the partnership would not only result in the expansion of the maritime sector but also the economic growth and prosperity of Jamaica. He said the government would continue to provide significant support to the Port Authority to ensure that it meet its requirements under the contract.
The first vessels from the Maersk shipping line are expected to arrive in Jamaica by April 2006 and the PAJ is therefore required to urgently provide appropriate capacity and facilities in the form of berthing capacity, equipment and container storage yard.
The Kingston Container Terminal has undergone three stages of expansion since the construction of the North Terminal in the early 1970s. A fourth expansion phase which began in 2003 involved the extending and upgrading of the North and South Terminals and was completed at a cost of approximately US$80 Million. This has increased the total throughput capacity at the port to 1.5 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs).
Mr. Patterson disclosed that Cabinet recently approved a fifth expansion phase which is expected to cost US$200 Million and more than double the capacity of the port to 3. 2 million TEUs. Equipment has already been order for this phase of the expansion, while design work and preparation for the expansion of the container yard are in progress.
In his remark, Mr. Steen Davidsen, Senior Vice President of Maersk said the Port of Kingston embodies what the Line requires for a major hub in its network. “We needed a sophisticated environment with a history of progressive evolution and the ability to service a highly efficient network,” Mr. Davidsen said.

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