JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, says six entities have expressed interest in operating the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) in Kingston, under privatization arrangements.
  • Dr. Phillips, who made the announcement while opening the 2015/16 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on March 12, said it is expected that a preferred bidder will be chosen within the next six months.
  • Regarding privatization of Kingston Container Terminal (KCT), Dr. Phillips said the matter is currently before the Cabinet, adding that the concession agreement will be signed during the first quarter of the next fiscal year.

Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, says six entities have expressed interest in operating the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) in Kingston, under privatization arrangements.

Dr. Phillips, who made the announcement while opening the 2015/16 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on March 12, said it is expected that a preferred bidder will be chosen within the next six months.

“This is to be approved by the Cabinet, so that we can move to the Request for Proposal stage of the process,” he stated.

In relation to the privatization of the Jamaica Railway Corporation (JRC), the Finance Minister advised that discussion with North American company, HERZOG Contracting Corporation, is advancing, “and their due diligence has commenced.”

Regarding privatization of Kingston Container Terminal (KCT), Dr. Phillips said the matter is currently before the Cabinet, adding that the concession agreement will be signed during the first quarter of the next fiscal year.

In the meantime, Dr. Phillips said infrastructural development represents an important and indispensable part of the Government’s growth strategy.

In this regard, he said, one of the major projects being undertaken is the North-South highway by the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), representing some US$600 million in investment.

The Finance Minister informed that while the project, as a whole, is expected to be completed by end 2016, another section of the highway, the Bogwalk to Treadways leg, is scheduled to open this fiscal year.

“CHEC has identified lands, in keeping with the toll agreement, where they intend to build three brand new hotels. We are in discussion with the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) and the Ministry of Transport, Works, and Housing to ensure speedy conclusion to the process,” he stated.

In relation to other critical infrastructure developments linked to the expansion of the Panama Canal, Dr. Phillips advised that detailed technical and feasibility studies are being concluded by the investor team for the Portland Bight Development Project. He said discussions are also ongoing with the Port Authority of Jamaica.

“It needs to be understood that a billion U.S. dollar project, such as this, doesn’t just happen without extensive studies, technical preparation, and negotiation. An investment interest of this magnitude, expressed a year ago, would not have come to conclusion as yet,” he stated.