The Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) has announced plans to begin dredging the Kingston Harbour, with the approved bidder gaining managerial responsibilities at the Kingston Container Terminal (KCT).
The announcement came at the opening of a two-day symposium on the Jamaica Logistics Hub Initiative at the Jamaica Conference Centre, in downtown Kingston.
Speaking at the symposium, Professor Gordon Shirley, chairman and chief executive officer at PAJ stated that preliminary engineering work for the dredging had already been completed.
Addressing the topic ‘Building out the Physical Infrastructure’ Shirley stated the PAJ will complete the works in two phases; firstly “to optimise the existing design limit of the berths that are there now, by taking it down to a draft of 14.2 metres, and then at a later date extending it to 15.5 metres.”
The completion of this project will coincide on the success of negotiations for the privatisation for Kingston Container Terminal (KCT).
The terminal is currently owned by PAJ and operated by KCT Services Ltd.
Shirley continued saying that a Request for Proposal (RFP) had been made and issued to three pre-qualified bidders – Singapore Port Authority, CMA-CMG and Dubai Port World.
The proposal will see the successful bidder entering into a 30-year concession with the PAJ to manage and operate the terminal.
Plans to privatise and expand the terminal come as Jamaica attempts to become the forth node in the global logistics chain and take advantage of increased maritime activity.
This relies heavily on the completion of the Panama Canal extension, now set for a December 2015 completion date.