Above: the port of Kingston (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
China Harbour Engineering Company Limited will invest between $1.2 and $1.5 billion USD in the development of a transshipment port in Jamaica, according to Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller.
The announcement comes after the state-owned company announced that, in a shift, it would not be establishing a transshipment port at Fort Augusta. China and Jamaica signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the Fort Augusta project last year. The location of the new investment has not yet been determined.
The project would be a direct investment of CHEC and its parent company, China Construction and Communications Company.
“It will consist of transshipment facilities, a logistics centre, industrial plants, a cement plant and perhaps a power plant,” Simpson Miller said Tuesday in the House of Representatives. “The extension to the MOU, signed by CHEC and the Port Authority, will run for another year to allow for all the relevant studies to be conducted, including environmental assessments.”
The revised project will be “radically expanded” compared to the initial Fort Augusta project, Simpson Miller said, as Fort Augusta was not large enough to provide the necessary space.
It would be completed over a five-year time period and could employ up to 2,000 people during construction.
Upon completion, the park would employ around 10,000 workers, Simpson Miller said.
“It will be a non-negotiable requirement that the majority of these workers will be Jamaican nationals,” she said.