The government, the Port Authority
and the Dart Enterprises Construction Company have signed a memorandum of understanding
to move ahead with the planning and construction of a cruise berth dock in
Premier McKeeva Bush said the dock
was slated to cost $150 million and to be completed by October 2012.
Mr. Bush, along with chairman of
the Port Authority Stefan Baraud, chief executive officer of DECCO Cameron
Graham, and member of the Legislative Assembly and tourism councillor Cline
Glidden, signed the agreement at a press conference on Thursday morning.
Ownership of the port will be
retained by the Port Authority.
“While the cruise berthing project
will be developed by DECCO and paid for by fees charged to the cruise lines
that use the facility, the government and Port Authority are committed to
protecting the existing revenue flows to the Port Authority,” Mr. Bush said.
“Consequently, measures are in place
to ensure that the Port Authority will retain full effective ownership and
control of the port’s lands, piers and operations,” he added.
The premier said the berthing
facility was a vital component in keeping Cayman’s tourism industry alive and
The memorandum of understanding
puts forward non-binding understandings, a short exclusivity period and a
confidentiality agreement between the parties.
DECCO was chosen in November last
year to design, develop, finance and construct the enhanced port facilities in
George Town by reclaiming land from the sea adjacent to the port, construct two
finger piers – one of which will be able to accommodate the massive Oasis class
ships – and develop infrastructure.
The company will be the sole
developer and will be responsible for awarding contracts for construction of
the berthing facilities, based on the lowest bids, and procuring funding for
Mr. Cameron said the company would
invite tender bids for both the construction and funding elements of the
He told reporters that DECCO had
already carried out an environmental impact assessment report, which would be
shown to the Department of Environment, adding that the DoE had been consulted
on the impact the port might have on the environment.
Mr. Glidden also addressed traffic
issues that would arise from an expand port in George Town, saying
pedestrianisation of Harbour Drive was being considered and that the land
reclamation could mean transportation to dispatch tourists would be moved off
the main thoroughfare.
He said that the plans being
considered called for a non-solid wall construction for the pier, using pilings
or open web structure that would not restrict current or wave flows.
He said the cruise line companies
that would be invited to invest in the expansion of the pier, would be involved
in the final design of the port.