Mr. Bush also announced that government was looking into the possibility of building cruise facilities in Cayman Brac with its new partner in port development, China Harbour Engineering. His comments came during a speech on the port project negotiations given to the Legislative Assembly.
The premier said his government had “good reason” to end the memorandum of understanding with Italy-based GLF earlier this year.
“The risks of non-performance were simply too high,” Mr. Bush said of the previous negotiating agreement. “I wish to inform the public that a settlement agreement has now been reached with GLF; and not even remotely close to the astronomical sums of $35 million that have been bandied about.”
The final settlement amount was thought to be less than CI $3 million.
“Not only have we agreed [to a settlement], but these sums will not be coming out of government’s coffers,” Mr. Bush said.
The Caymanian Compass sought clarification Thursday as to where the sums for the settlement would come from. The newspaper received no comment from the Premier’s office by press time and a representative of Governor Duncan Taylor’s office declined to comment, referring questions to the Premier.
“What we are dealing with here is a project of unquestionable national importance,” Mr. Bush told lawmakers.
Since 2003, the Cayman Islands government has been in talks with a number of different companies regarding the potential construction of a port berthing facility in George Town. Talks with Misener Marine, Atlantic Star, Dart Enterprises Construction Company, GLF and now China Harbour have been in various stages of negotiations, but no final deal has ever been agreed.