Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 27, 2018 (SKNIS): The construction of a second cruise pier at Port Zante in St. Kitts is set to start, as the official loan signing ceremony took place on Monday, February 26, which signalled another milestone of the Team Unity Administration’s prosperity agenda.
The Honourable Ian ‘Patches’ Liburd, Minister of Public Infrastructure, said that the signing is of special significance as it will enhance Port Zante to facilitate the world’s largest ships.
“In approximately 18 months, the Port Zante Harbour will be transformed with the addition of the much needed second cruise pier to accommodate our growing passenger traffic, which is now heading towards 1.5 million passengers per annum,” he said. “This addition will result in our lovely nation being able to accommodate not one but three Oasis class vessels – three of the largest vessels afloat today.”
Minister Liburd said that citizens and residents ought to be proud of this initiative, as it will better position St. Kitts and Nevis to expand the tourism industry that will redound to the benefit of the local population.
“We are positioning St. Kitts and Nevis as a destination which can accommodate the growing sizes of cruise ship vessels being constructed. We can continue to boast on our ability to receive the largest cruise ship vessels in the world. Few countries can boast of this and we as a people of St. Kitts and Nevis should be proud,” he said.
The Minister of Public Infrastructure noted that the journey towards getting to the point of financial closure has been long but necessary. He added that throughout the entire process the government has been and will continue to be transparent.
“In a true spirit of transparency and accountability your Team Unity Administration is letting you know precisely what financial arrangements we have put in place for the construction of the much improved and much needed second cruise pier,” he said, adding that “ this is the people’s business”, and being transparent and accountable were key.
Entities financing the project include the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank (SKNANB), which has committed US$34 million; the St. Kitts and Nevis Social Security Board which has pledged US$7 million; the St. Kitts and Nevis Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) with US$5 million and the St. Kitts and Nevis Trading and Development Company (TDC) which has committed another US$2 million.
On November 22, 2017, there was an official Contract Signing Ceremony between the St. Christopher Air and Sea Ports Authority (SCASPA) and the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) for the construction of the second cruise pier at Port Zante.