Square pegs generally don’t fit into round holes.
The choice to use DECCO, a Dart subsidiary, to build a new cruise berthing facility in George Town was always curious.
The Dart Group has proven they are fantastic developers. Camana Bay is stunning and has raised the bar on developments in Cayman.
The construction company DECCO has also proven it can build as well as anyone here.
However, the group’s expertise in marine construction was always a question.
Of course, DECCO was probably going to concentrate on the project management and upland construction works of the cruise berthing facility and contract out the marine portion. Oddly though, in the year since they where chosen by Cabinet to develop the port, we never learned who DECCO might partner with to do the necessary dredging and build the berthing piers.
DECCO was probably chosen because the Dart Group has a track record in Cayman of delivering first-class results. In addition, the Dart Group has the means to finance a project. These facts, however, did not necessarily mean that Dart/DECCO were the best ones for the port job.
Events ultimately seemed to prove this; after a little more than a year of talks, the government and DECCO were unable to reach an agreement as to how the investment needed to finance the construction of the cruise berthing facility was going to be repaid. The government then moved quickly to engage the group that placed second in the original selection process to build the facility. That group has impeccable qualifications. The local contractor, Royal Construction, has been involved in the building of several large residential, hospitality, commercial and government projects on Grand Cayman; GLF Construction is a 105-year-old Italy-based contractor that has been involved in building major infrastructure projects all over the world. The Jan de Nul Group, which will conduct the dredging aspect of the project, is one of the best in the world at what it does.
It appears the government has now selected a group that can deliver a first-class project, The government might be criticised for the false start with DECCO, but in the end, getting it right is more important.