Chinese seek port MOU

| 05/05/2011

(CNS): Just threeweeks after the premier cancelled government’s exclusivity agreement with GLF for the development of cruise berthing facilities in George Town, sources tell CNS that another developer has already submitted an MOU for consideration. It is not clear exactly when the proposed memorandum of understanding was given to the Cayman government but it is understood that it has not yet been signed by the premier. The proposed MOU has been submitted by China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd, headquartered in Bejing. According to the firm’s website, it specialises in basic infrastructure construction, such as marine engineering, dredging and airports among others.

The premier, who is currently attending an insurance conference in Canada, has not yet revealed government’s revised intentions regardingthe cruise port after jettisoning the deal with GLF Construction but he has already had extensive talks with this Chinese group.

Despite claims by GLF Construction Ltd that it was a mere six weeks away from breaking ground once a full agreement was signed with the Cayman government, the premier said it was in the best interest of the country to end the deal and examine other options.

The details of the proposals submitted by the Chinese firm, which may also be in the running to dredge the North Sound and re-develop Owen Roberts International Airport, according to sources close to government, are not yet known . It is not clear if the new group of developers will be taking on the designs produce by GLF, which have already been tested, or if the team will be creating their own vision for the project.

GLF was the second developer to enter into talks with the current UDP administration on a public private-partnership, only to see those talks break down despite claims by government, on both occasions, that the negotiations were going well. Since the revelation by CNS last month that GLF was being rejected, efforts to contact representatives from the Port Authority and the technical team have been unsuccessful but it is understood that the premier has now taken over the project.

The decision by the premier to jettison GLF at the eleventh hour appears to have caused controversy, not only in the community at large, especially those involved in cruise tourism, but also within the UDP itself. Days before the premier admitted that he had made the decision to pull the plug on the GLF talks, Cline Glidden told CNS that he did not know what was happening with the cruise port, despite being the project leader for almost two years.

China Harbour Engineering Company, which says it employs 6,000 people and is currently working on US$9 billion worth of projects around the world, is the fourth developer to begin talks with the Cayman government over the cruise port in less than three years.

Atlantic Star had also entered into negotiations with the previous administration to construct the cruise piers and upgrade the George Town cargo port on land which the firm owned north of the current location. The MOU with that firm lapsed, however, when the UDP administration came to office. Citing a need for the project to be entirely privately funded, they made the decision to partner with the Dart Group.

See details on China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd, 

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Comments (78)

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  1. dob says:

    Letting the Communist Chinese into this island will be the biggest mistake these islands have ever made. They will bring there own workers paying the probably $2 per day and they will spread cheap lobor all over these islands. At least Dart pays his staff.

     

  2. Anonymous says:

    Let us remove the politics from this my people. We clearly need a new cruise ship port and it should be in George Town which has been agreed by the PPM and UDP. Now we need a proper Project Manager and support staff etc.

    If this is not done,then clearly they need to understand more about governance, because some people are entering the arena, they are young and inexperienced at this level and they really don’t understand some of the governance issues, and it’s important to know about role and function.

    Perhaps some of them need to  be getting up in parliament and saying ‘what’s my terms of reference, what’s my job description?’ Had they had the that kind of training such a question will not have to be asked. So the parties needs to pay special attention to developing the kind of individual who can become a good representative, a good legislator, a good minister, or a good backbencher. The qualties are not the same for each.

    So do we appoint representatives and then give them training or should they be trained and prove themselves before?

     

  3. Anonymous says:

    Charles Clifford was right…..here we go again another 2 year delay. Since the 9/11 attacks on the US mainland, the UK must approve any major port project, particularly with respect to the design for security reasons. The question is : has the UK seen or approved the plans and will they entertain the Chinese on this project. Trouble ahead eh ! What say you Governor ?

  4. Anonymous says:

    google: china harbor bribe 

  5. Anonymous says:

    They have the disciple to work, the money to finance the project– it suits us rather than all the time wasted till date by prospective developers till date.

    Look at many of the countries around us– they have used the Chinese successfully.

    Let us leave politics aside and get something going for our country again.– especially tourism.

  6. Same ole Same ole says:

    Hmmmmmm??? ……cunning………aren’t they d same crew supposively coming to build d "north sound island" ?   Is this a strategy for entrance thru d back door ?

    • Anonymous says:

      It is indeed. Except we’re being a little more brazen than usual and bringing them through the FRONT door. We can do whatever we want remember?

    • Michel Lemay says:

      YEP !

  7. Anonymous says:

     we don’t need any birthing facilities … it won’t bring back the cruiseships.

    all the tours that operate in the water of Hog Sty Bay will be out of business, there’s a lot of them, you seen the boats out there and snorkellers too .. all will be gone .. all those people who get out the water and then come shopping in town or eat and drink .. all gone off to snorkel up in west bay where they will eat and drink and shop.

    The cruise ships will not return because you build a berthing facility, has anyone seen a deal in place that GUARENTEES we will have 4 ships a day 365 days a year?

    Remember when the island was doing very well from stay over visitors? When we marketed ourselves as a bespoke place for people to come and stay. Cruise visitors aren’t being converted, thats been tried for 10 years.

    We need to reposition ourselves back in stay over visitors there’s plenty of condos for them to stay in now! Build that port and you will just have an ugly harbour that the same amount of ships we have coming now will use. And you will still alienate stay over tourism.

    • Gyne C. Ologist says:

      You are correct, we do not need any birthing facilities. The George Town and Chrissie Tomlinson hospitals provide adequate facilities of this nature to cover our needs and requirements

  8. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Auditor General – Are you ready for this?

     

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

       This is a major accident waiting to happen and it will happen, it is just a matter of time.

      IF this project starts with anyone other than DART, who has a HUGE investment in the island and the safety of 7MB this project will be a disaster.

      Ponder this for a moment. You have the leader of the country who is not supported by, lets be fair, and we will say the majority of the country because that is a fact, instead of quoting 75-80% of the voters. No one knows who he is dealing with, even his own heads of the port project didn’t know what was happening. So you give out the largest ever in Cayman’s history of projects to a group that has no vested interest in the island other than to make money some of which gets spread around.

      OR, you deal with someone like Dart who will loose everything if the project goes sideways. The decision is simple…Dart.

      Whatever the disagreement with Dart was over the lease period it is nothing or minute compared to the debacle, over runs, immigration problems, costs and lost funds and no environmental consideration that will be felt by the people of Cayman if Dart is not used.

      Personally stay over tourism is the answer but no one seems to be listening to that. 

      Bush cannot get re elected, do not let this folly go forward as proposed.

      • Anonymous says:

        It is not only DART that has a vested interest in this country and seeing to it that major projects succeed. You must either have been brainwashed or bought out by DART, like most people here seem to be.

        • Lachlan MacTavish says:

          Historical fact is that the Government has not been able to properly manage any of their projects. Turtle Farm, Pedro’s, schools, CIG gasoline and a port is a huge undertaking. That is why in my opinion working with DART makes the most sense fro the environment, cost management and transparency.

          Nope, not brainwashed and haven’t spoken or communicated with DART. 

          • Anonymous says:

            Well, then, it must be that you have a relative working for DART, as I can’t understand this undying devotion you seem to have for DART and why you feel no one else is capable of doing an equally great job. Do agree with you though, that this is a huge undertaking, but if it is handled by competent people who have experience with completing similar successful projects of equal magnitude around the world, then it can work. The key is to have the right group handling it. DART is not the only girl in town.

            • Lachlan MacTavish says:

              Anon 21:31. I think you agree that what is needed isa reputable group that will adhere to all aspects of an objective third party environmental impact study, work with Caymanian contractors and labor and be transparent so we know that the politico’s are not benefiting financially from the peoples money.

              So, you want to go with a group that only one man has been speaking to, has no ties to the island, will want to use their labor, materials, build their own housing, etc. that is how they make money.

              I would rather work with someone I know.  

          • Anonymous says:

            Ha Ha. If you knew what DART wanted in return, you would change your mind.

      • Anonymous says:

        Again you are fast and loose with your "facts".

        You have no actual idea what the majority of the people of Cayman think or believe. What do you base this "fact" upon? Perhaps a poll conducted by the Compass?

        People that let their emotions run wild allow it to confuse their thought process.

        It must be nice to live in your world of clarity.

        • Lachlan MacTavish says:

           Anon 05:44…oops missed this one.

          Don’t listen to me…listen to the other 80% of the "speaking out population/voters that oppose Bush’s projects and choices". Clarity….you don’t need clarity to make a choice between a group we know nothing about and has no vested interest except to make money or someone who has a vested interest and we know about. Clarity , hell I could fill my mask with watta and look through that and make a decision. 

          • Anonymous says:

            You seem wedded to the conclusion that 80% of the popultion are represented by CNS or Rooster talk radio?

            What is the basis of your conclusion? Do you put any actual value in the polls hosted by CNS or the Compass?

            You have no real idea what the population ofthe country really want only the relative few who live on these sites and probably repeat the same rants in different foms.

            I am not suggesting that I know what the people want and I am certainly not convinced that the PPM or Ezzard have any answers to the country’s problems. For if they do have any answers they keep the secrets well.

            Maybe the country needs direct taxation to "follow the money" in corruption cases like the tax man has been saying to anyone who will listen for years.

            You are another who talks about "alternative income streams" and other generalities which might as well be smoke and do nothing to move the country forward. When McKeeva talks specifics he at least has the balls to talk specifics and take the heat.

            If you filter out the attacks against McKeeva personally you get no actual ideas presented on any of these rants to solve any of the country’s woes.

            Do you think the PPMs spending to the RCIP made the crime go down or added any security to the country? We are talking millions of dollars spent.The helicopter and other items have done what?

            Do you see that much difference in personality and style between McKeeva and Ezzard?

            Ease voting restrictions to allow paper Caymanians the immediate right to vote would shake up the status qou.

             

             

    • Common Sense says:

       Greed, greed, greed!  We do not need million dollar projects.  The cruise ship passengers do not care about duty free shops and high end stores, they want to see our beaches and meet the locals.

      So AGAIN, stop the greed and figuring out how to get a kickback Big Mac and just pour a long cement pier…cheap and very effective.

      See photo of Costa Maya "Cruise ship pier", a lovely port of call with no fuss!  (Google it and look at "images")

       

    • Anonymous says:

      meaning, are you ready to get sent packing? 

  9. Anonymous says:

    The work permit laws state that all workers must speak english. How will Mac get round this hurdle?

    • Anonymous says:

      Status grants?

      • Anonymous says:

        When there is a note on the infamous status list that a man has three "chins", there is no way to tell if they are children or if the man is living the good life like McKeeva.

      • Anonymous says:

        OMG! Sooo funny HAHAHAHAAAAAA

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you really think that a little thing like the law will be an obstacle?

    • Same ole Same ole says:

      easy, easy……………..massage  d papers

       

       

    • Anonymous says:

      We already have lots of people here who don’t speak English (mostly from Latin America). The English exams they give at Immigration must be a joke.

      • Anonymous says:

         "We already have lots of people here who don’t speak English (mostly from Latin America). The English exams they give at Immigration must be a joke."

        Try ordering from them at the bar.  They don’t even know what a simple diet coke is.

         I have wondered about this test myself and I was told that the ones here know the test and tell the correct answers to the ones that are coming in for the tests.

    • A laugh a minute says:

      he jes be aplyin dem sam standerds dat aply to unna and meea alredy. no won no de diference dat way and de all com in jes fine.

  10. Michel Lemay says:

    And the surprise is……………………. 3 to 4 birds one rock. NO MONEY. So who Pays ? At what cost ? Sell the island if we have to but I want my channel !!!! Give them the Port, we’ll pay the chjnese for use. Come to think of it give them everything…….

  11. Anonymous says:

    Ok Governor go ahead and prop up the budgets of your investigative branches for this one. Accountability must be the order of the day from this point forward Sir !
    Corruption is in the air again Cayman !!!

  12. Anonymous says:

    See, everyone hated on Dart (who actually has a passport and pays duties on his businesses here), and now the Chinese are going to swoop in, XXXXX, and bleed the country for everything it has.  Careful what you wish for……

    ….. but, a Chinese port is better than no port at all.  And it’s good for the owners of Canton Restaurant during construction!!

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not really good news for the owners of Canton Restaurant. It might be good news for lovers of cheap chinese food though. Ask the people of Dominica if you doubt it.
      http://www.caribbean360.com/index.php/opinion/389630.html#axzz1LVgpq1b7

    • Anonymous says:

       The Chinese won’t "bleed the country". But they also won’t be dining out. These large projects have their own barracks, secured on site or very close to it. The workers are under strict supervision, and rarely fraternize with locals or even leave the site. There is little trickle-down as they supply all their own equipment and needs, from back-hoes to food and cigarettes. They will hire a few local labourers and a few services as part of the deal, but only on a peripheral basis.

      Remember, China does not make human rights and corruption-free procedures a condition for investment in foreign countries. They are masters at applied Machiavellism andthe art of "huili" (or bacsheesh) .

  13. Anonymous says:

    So then not all of the stench surrounding the port is from Mt Trashmore.

  14. Sachamo says:

    Boy i didn’t know we had so many experts in Cayman? i don’t blame the premier for trying to find a well funded organization to undertake this, look at what happened with Tom Jones and schools…asked the former government how much headache it caused. If they have the money, the equipment and the expertise then let them have the project.

    • UDP&PPM AFU says:

        Look to the current and past  and future leadership.  All experts.  Right to the end.  By the way just watch what happens when Tom Jones takes CIG to court. Watch Bush repeat his famous "We are Broke" speech again but they are still the experts.

  15. Anonymous says:

    The Chuckster knows Mac like a book…..he predicted that the mysterious “Chinese” would be on the scene soon. There are more questions than answers. They better increase the Auditor General’s budget for this one !

    Whats sad though is that we still have no berthing facilities because of this incompetence and in the meantime we see cruise tourism decreasing significantly beginning this summer and restaurants and stores in George Town and elsewhere closing in unprecedented numbers.

    Are we heading towards an economic depression Cayman ? This is a real question !

  16. Anonymous says:

    Chinese corruption.  Read about it here: 

    http://www.u4.no/helpdesk/helpdesk/query.cfm?id=272

    Interesting reading!

  17. Tshrop says:

    No No No.  Say it isn’t so. Don’t let this project happen. 

  18. Anonymous says:

     China Harbour Engineering Co – which documents reveal is a precursor company of Hong Kong-listed China Communications Construction Co Ltd (1800) – bribed its way to a port contract in Bangladesh, the US Department of Justice alleges.

    US government attorneys are seeking to recover US$1.76 million (HK$13.6 million) they say China Harbour paid in bribes to Arafat "Koko" Rahman, the youngest son of former Bangladesh prime minister Khaleda Zia. Rahman allegedly squirreled the money away in Singapore bank accounts.

    • Anonymous says:

      Turks & Caicos here we come !

    • Anonymous says:

      McKeeva’s good friend the Prime Minister of Jamaica can vouch for CHEC. The funniest thing I ever saw was a cartoon in the Jamaica newspaper where CHEC were complaining that they needed work permits for Chinese nationals because Jamaicans were too lazy.

      There are two things that can be found in every major city in the world, a Jamaican community (where you can get patties) and a Chinatown. Big Mac is set to bring the last piece of the puzzle to Cayman.

  19. Anonymous says:

    McKeeva has spent millions of dollars traipsing around the world looking for rich investors to build us docks, airports, roads, islands etc, and all the time they were right next door in Jamaica. lol

  20. Anonymous says:

     How do you say baksheesh in Chinese?

  21. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Governor, is the British Government prepared to relinquish control of our main Port facility in George Town to a firm from Communist China? Or is this, yet again, not within your “area of responsibility”?
    Or are you like Nero when Rome burned? Are you just fiddling away our money and biding your time so that you, like your predecessor, can retire on a fat pension thanks to your inflated salary as Governor of the Cayman Islands – a salary which is being paid by the Caymanian people?
    If never before, please “govern” now!

  22. Anonymous says:

     8:06 is right.  Google: china harbor bribe

  23. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps Alden should propose ‘A Motion of Over Confidence’ instead, – it baffles me how so much of this comes from one man only in a democratic govt.  

  24. Anonymous says:

    Pack your bags gang…

    Off to China we go!

  25. Anonymous says:

    It’s like the aliens have just beamed in to deal with a bunch of CIG cavemen.

    The aliens have yet to find out that our cavemen are much less advanced than the ones in the Geico commercial.

  26. Anonymous says:

    When something a politician does seems odd, remember the words of Cicero, "Who benefits". 

  27. Anonymous says:

    Google is our friend. We may educate ourselves by putting the words "China Harbour" and bribe into Google. It makes interesting reading.

    • Anonymous says:

      Especially the part with the US Department of Justice investigation.

      BTW – I assume that the Anti-Corruption unit still has no personnel to investigate anything.

      No Environmental Protection legislation, no anti-corruption capacity – its time for some to make lots of money

  28. Anonymous says:

    ASO!!! Its exactly what we expected. Its all about the “gifts”. We all know that the Chinese Government have bottomless pits of mony and lots of gifts for any sucker in the Caribbean who can get them a vote at the UN. The Bahamas took the bait and the “gifts” against the will of their people. But their Goverment could “justify” it because they got multiple “gifts” of a stadium and a highway and the other gifts which remain less obvious. So, sign the China MOU McKeeva and open up the goody bag and tell us what “gifts” in store for Cayman? But in this decison you will be on your own because you do not have the support of your own Party or the Caymanian people.

    • Anonymous says:

      Seeing as Cayman does not have a vote at the UN any gifts will have to go directly to the politicians.

  29. Anonymous says:

    SURPRIZE
    Are we surprized ?, I do not think so for this is how this man works. He has now cancelled with two groups Atlantic star and GLF and the third group pulled out after wasting millions. He wants the Chinese only because he sees that he can wrap up the port, airport and north sound islands and port into one huge project for the Chinese, however he is so stupid he does not realize at what cost this will be for the country. The Chinese are not stupid and are shrewd businessmen.

    REALITY
    The true reality of this is that the Chinese will do all these projects totally inhouse themselves and the country will not benefit during the construction process. 500 work permits, large chinese compound on the island, working seven days a week, no sub contracting of anything. If you do not believe this look around at Africa, Belize, other Caribbean and Pacific islands and check out how it all works under the Chinese way of doing capital projects around the world,
    BE PREPARED CAYMAN FOR THIS IS WHAT YOU VOTED FOR IN THE UDP

  30. Bahhhh! says:

    Zee plot thickens! 

    While we are at it, perhaps we should allow open immigration to all the Chinese workers that will be needed to build all of Mac’s grand plans.

    • Anonymous says:

       Having their own workers will def. be part of the plan. Just look at the project in The Bahamas.

      • Anonymous says:

         And the stadiums in St Lucia, Grenada, and Trelawny, JA.  Bribes flow blatantly in these ‘third world" backward island states, but not in Cayman! :0  How do you say baksheesh in Mandarin?

    • Anonymous says:

      Let’s give ’em all status:)

  31. Real World says:

    Oh, give the poor Premier a chance — he’s had more important things to do like attend a wedding (and a party thrown by Mr. Hague) in London rather than review and sign the MOU with CHEC, Ltd.

     

  32. Anonymous says:

    nothing will happen with this…the chines are not stupid……when dart walks away you know there is something wrong…….

  33. Anonymous says:

    ‘Cline Glidden told CNS that he did not know what was happening with the cruise port, despite being the project leader for almost two years’..????????????

    resign NOW!

  34. Anonymous says:

    Well, this is quite a surprise, wouldn’t you say?

  35. Anonymous says:

    If the hosts don’t tell the government what to do on Cayman Crosstalk how will they ever get anything done.I am sure that between the hosts and Ezzard they will have all the answers and not need any callers to break up the on air speeches.

    How do we know where these Chinese get their money? Are they really Chinese?

  36. Anonymous says:

    I knew it.  Agreement cancelled to make way for the Chinese… it didn’t take a rocket scientist to know that this was likely to be the motivating factor behind the cancellation.  I smell a FOI request!

  37. Anonymous says:

    Aha! I smell a rat! Sweet n sour West Bay rat!
    Mac HAD to find a project for the chinese for some reason

  38. Anonymous says:

    I see impending travel of Big Mac and JuJu to Bejing to verify China’s capability of building a pier by checking out the 2008 Olympic site.

    Can anyone else picture him smashing a model of a pier in disgust and raging "What is this….a pier for ANTS!!"?

  39. Anonymous says:

    Its like what Charles Clifford said in his recent "Cruise Berthing Blunders" article……The Premier’s termination of the GLF deal is "suspicious at best". XXXX