The St. Christopher Air and Sea Ports Authority (SCASPA) continues its commitment to the development of St. Kitts’ ports with the announcement of the Authority’s future projects for 2017 and beyond at a Press conference held at the Ocean Terrace Inn on Monday 5th December 2016.
A contingent of five led the conference on Monday, namely; Honourable Ian Liburd – Minister with responsibility for Post, Urban Development and Infrastructure and with responsibility for SCASPA , Honourable Lindsay F. Grant – Minister of Tourism, Mr. Don M. Boncamper – Chairperson of SCASPA, Mr. Denzil James – Chief Executive Officer of SCASPA and Mr. Ian Ferguson – Chief Financial Officer of SCASPA.
Mr. Denzil James, Chief Executive Officer of SCASPA, in his announcement outlined the major capital projects the Authority would be embarking on for the new year and beyond. He outlined them as being:Resurfacing of Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw International Airport runway
- Refurbishing of the RLB International Airport Terminal Building.
- Stabilization of the Bulkhead at the Cargo Sea Port
- Construction of a second cruise ship pier at Port Zante; to better accommodate the larger cruise ships such as Oasis class ships.”
Minister Liburd informed the gathering that the Federal Cabinet and the Board of Directors of the St Christopher Air and Sea Ports have accepted the proposal for the construction of the second cruise pier at Port Zante. It is also the intention of the management of SCASPA to appoint the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC), the preferred bidder, for the design, construction and procurement of financing for the construction of the pier at Port Zante, St. Kitts.
The Authority would be engaging suitably qualified financial transaction consultants and legal and policy advisory firms to work on its behalf during the upcoming negotiations to finalize the contracts.
Minister Liburd further remarked “We are already accommodating the largest vessels that are plying the seas today but, as new and larger vessels come online, the new, enhanced ports will capture their itinerary calls… and of course a second cruise pier will position St. Kitts to be the recipient of those larger cruise vessels.”
While addressing media and stakeholders questions varying from the construction of the new pier to the refurbishing of the airport terminal, Minister Liburd made clear that though we are constructing a new pier he still foresees a need for even more berthing facilities with the weighty passenger numbers projected for the foreseeable cruise seasons. It is projected that 1.15 million passengers are expected to embark our shores in 2018, 1.73 million in 2019 and an even greater 1.96 million passenger arrival in 2020, hence the timeliness of this new infrastructure.
Also giving remarks was Mr. Luc Allary, Regional Director of the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) for the Caribbean and Central America. Mr. Allay spoke with respect to the CCC’s long tradition of providing technical and financial assistance for similar projects, facilitated through Government to Government arrangements. SCASPA would benefit greatly from the added technical oversight and financial expertise of the CCC in shepherding the project to a timely and efficient completion.
Present at this auspicious occasion were all stakeholder groups affected directly or indirectly by this timely announcement of a second cruise pier as well as the other pending projects. Such included Airlines, Ministry of Tourism, travel agents, agents for the cruise lines, shore excursion facilitators and operators, Ministry of Finance, media houses… among others. Announced construction phase for the second pier is approximately twelve to eighteen months and a readied pier for the 2018 cruise season.