Above: the signing ceremony (BVIPA/A Glasgow)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
The British Virgin Islands, through the British Virgin Islands Ports Authority, has obtained a $35 million loan for its planned cruise pier expansion project.
The deal was closed last week with FirstCaribbean International Bank, signed by BVIPA Chairman Edward de Castro, Managing Director Claude Skelton-Cline and British Virgin Islands Premier Dr Orlando Smith.
The expansion project includes the extension, strengthening and widening of the territory’s existing pier in Tortola, along with the development of a boardwalk, enhancement of the excursion dock facility and dredging and land reclamation.
It will also feature a five-acre land-side development with commercial, retail, entertainment and green spaces, according to the BVIPA.
In a statement, the BVIPA said the project was “designed to create a unique and modern cruise pier facility that delivers a memorable, world-class and environmentally compatible sustainable development.”
Skelton-Cline said the project was progressing well.
““Persons would have already seen the fencing, the new staging area for taxis and some demolition works on the land=side,” Skelton-Cline said. “On the marine side, they’re mobilizing and stockpiling the armour stone, and general site setup. By mid August, cranes and other machinery will be in full effect.”
The British Overseas Territory is working on the project as it readies for a significant jump in cruise arrivals. A deal with Disney and Norwegian Cruise Line signed earlier this year “guarantees” 425,000 annual visitors by 2015.
The expansion broke ground in May.