Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 27, 2018 (SKNIS): Doors will be opened and opportunities created for locals with the construction of a second cruise pier that is expected to commence in April of this year at Port Zante in Basseterre, St. Kitts.
Speaking at the Official Loan-Signing Ceremony for the construction of the second pier at the Port Zante Terminal on February 26, Minister of Public Infrastructure and Transport, Honourable Ian Patches Liburd, said that the Team Unity Administration has “arranged with and have received a commitment from the CCC that as far as possible the persons on this new pier construction project would be employed from our local labour pool.” He mentioned that recruitment of labour for the pier construction project will begin in March.
The commercial construction contract for building the second pier was signed between the St. Christopher Air and Sea Ports Authority (SCASPA) of the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC), a crown agent of the Government of Canada, which is the prime contractor with JV Driver, being the prime subcontractor. SCASPA’s engineer is AdeB Consultants to work alongside the Director of Public Works, Mr. Cromwell Williams. The Lender’s Engineer is EF Douglas and Associates, with Principal Consultant Errol Douglas.
According to Minister Liburd “All contract and construction performance risks are borne by CCC. Therefore any potential cost or time overruns are managed between CCC and JV Driver, at no risks to SCASPA.”
The minister disclosed that “the passengers’ fees and the interest payments will remain here within our Federation. It goes back to SCASPA and to the local players in the finance syndicate. This can only stimulate our local economy.”
The construction of the second pier is being financed under a syndicate arrangement between four local entities to the tune of US$48 million. The St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank (SKNANB) has committed US$34 million; the St. Kitts and Nevis Social Security Board has pledged US$7 million; the St. Kitts and Nevis Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) injecting US$5 million and the St. Kitts and Nevis Trading and Development Company (TDC) adding another US$2 million.
Minister Liburd underscored the importance of cruise tourism to the development of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“Cruise tourism and tourism generally are of economic importance to the development of the Federation. It provides employment and education opportunities, increases quality of life, (helps with) improvements in infrastructure and promotes development and economic growth,” he said.
“Construction of the second cruise pier will positively impact the ‘Grass Root Economy’ in particular as passenger expenditure will have a cascading effect on the economy which begins with tourists spending money with taxi drivers, hair-braiders, craft vendors and restaurants, which then permeates throughout the rest of the economy,” Minister Liburd added. The importance of this also turns attention onto the quality of training of the workforce who will be involved in the construction. Websites such as www.whsmoreskills.com.au can provide training services (such as working in confined spaces) for those employed to work in these environments.
The construction of the pier is expected to take 18 months to complete and when complete Port Zante will be able to accommodate three Oasis class vessels.