Royal makes new port offer

| 06/06/2011

(CNS): Royal Construction Ltd, the local partners of GLF Construction, has made a new offer to Cabinet and the Port Authority that includes a pier at Spotts and one at the Cayman Turtle Farm as well as the original cruise berth in George Town. The offer, which matches the alleged proposals made by a Chinese company, was made last week. However, a spokesperson for the firm told CNS that although Royal had presented its new proposals to all of the people in Cabinet and those connected to the project and was still in a position to get down to work as soon as possible on the cruise berthing facilities in George Town, the firm has not yet received any response from anyone in government.

“The GLF Construction Corporation has recently advised the government and the Port Authority of the Cayman Islands of its willingness to expand its proposal for the George Town Port to include the refurbishment of Spotts and the construction of a facility to support and complement the Turtle Farm in West Bay,” Howard Finlason said in an official statement.

He also pointed out that the upland development under the GLF proposals for the George Town Port would “leave the facility entirely under the control of the Port Authority to ensure it benefits the interests of the people of the Cayman Islands.”

Finlason added that Royal and its international partner, GLF, was ready, able and willing to proceed with these projects with the utmost urgency.

However, speaking on Radio Cayman news on Friday evening on his return from a meeting with the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association in Miami, the premier reiterated his intention to work with the Chinese investors. He said that he intended to issue a statement regarding the new plans and potential new partnership on the projects before the end of this week.

GLF had been in exclusive negotiations with the Cayman Islands government and the Port Authority until April when the premier wrote to the firm’s CEO cancelling the talks on the last day of the initial four month contract. (See CNS story GLF port deal was 6 months).

Despite claims to the contrary from the local partner and GLF that it had the financing in place and was ready to mobilize in six weeks, the premier cancelled the deal as he said GLF had not proved that it had the financing in place to undertake the job.

Since the talks were derailed, the premier has not given a full statement on his revised plans but said that new investors had offered to include two other projects as well as the George Town Port. The new partner is believed to be China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd, based in Beijing, but there has been no indication yet if the premier has already signed or intends to sign a framework agreement or MOU with the firm .

Meanwhile, local businesses dependant on cruise tourism are becoming increasingly concerned over the decline in business in George Town and the pressing need to move ahead as soon as possible with the project. Tourism representatives are becoming increasingly frustrated that despite protracted talks and government's assurance that it is committed to developing the facilities, talks have now collapsed with two sets of potential developers since the UDP took office in May 2009. The UDP also walked away from a possible partnership with Atlantic Star, with which talks had been started under the previous administration.

Category: Tourism

Comments (18)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    So MOU with chinese wasn't signed and GLF et al realised they have to anti up on the very private part of offer outside of the public domain.  The game is on.

  2. A NONY MOUSE says:

    "If we do not change our direction we are likely to end up where we are heading"…old Chinese proverb.

    Take heed UDP government members – you need to correct your Leader's course before he goes too farand takes you with him. Stand up. Unite. Build the Port. Keep clean. Move on. Get re-elected.    

  3. Red Flag says:

    A pier at the Turtle Farm?  For cruise ships or tenders?  If too big, it will destroy Hepps Pipeline, an absolutely beautiful dive.  If too small, the first Nor'wester will wipe it out and put it on the road.  Is someone in government opening a store in West Bay?  What's happening there?

  4. CC says:

    Simple piers, ditch the tenders….could the cruise industry be more clear or succinct?  (*add a few wheelchair ramps, and handicap tour busses, and we could be the darling of the cruise industry)  NO casinos, no acres of new retail on reclaimed land, just keep it simple stupid.  (Stupid being our greedy cronyism politicians)

  5. Reality Check says:

    Prioritising local contractors for a project of this national importance is a mistake.

  6. The lone haranguer says:

    I do not know about you all, but I am boning upon my mandarin.

  7. Libertarian says:

    Sometimes I wonder if we do need a Department of Tourism! I feel a united representation of the tourism sector, consisting of members over transport operations and tours, accomodations, restaurants, cruise companies, and watersports operations, should be sufficient in making vital decisions for the whole tourism market and seeing projects through such like this one to completion. And I am not just talking about CITA, but a profit-driven organization that does not like to sleep in the same bed with government. It wants nothing to do with government, but that they stay out of their business! 

    Seriously, this government don't look like they know what they are doing!  I think the radical!  They should step aside and stick with monitoring the HR and employment-related issues in tourism. Leave it to the private sector (the experts) to call the shots. Soon you will hear this same government flip-flopping on the Chinese, and who wants to screw the Chinese?

    lol… anyways that's my 2cent

    • Anonymous says:

      "Sometimes I wonder if we do need a Department of Tourism! I feel a united representation of the tourism sector, consisting of members over transport operations and tours, accomodations, restaurants, cruise companies, and watersports operations, should be sufficient in making vital decisions for the whole tourism market and seeing projects through such like this one to completion. And I am not just talking about CITA, but a profit-driven organization that does not like to sleep in the same bed with government. It wants nothing to do with government, but that they stay out of their business"

      Your comment doesn't make any sense. Department of Tourismhas nothing to do with this project.  McKeever is not Department of Tourism. As for all of those wonderful organizations that you mentioned, they want to have the say but Department of Tourism has to pay.  Why do you think we lost Jazz Fest?

  8. Anonymous says:

    i can see this will end up like the tom jones debacle: with govnt being sued

  9. peter milburn says:

    It would be nice to KNOW what is going on with this deal one way or the other.Obviously nothing much will get done now that we are into hurricane season and it could possibly(I hope not)be a busy one.At least lets get things  ready at least on paper so that the public has the chance to see what we are up against or in favour of.The public at least desrves that much from this Government.

  10. Ray says:

    This whole situation is crazy. So now we could go from zero piers to possibly 4? All at a time when the budget cannot be balanced even with ignoring important payments. Don't say that there will be no cost to the country. Don't even think it.

    Surely it would make more sense to work on the main facility (simply 2 piers in GT harbour) then when they have been operational for a time, reaccess the situation to determine if others are feasible or required. Note that I only mentioned piers as I do not see any need for "upland" development as that already exists.

    • Pending says:

      So a pier in GT, a pier in WB, a pier in EE, and a pier in Spotts.

      I studied a concept in geography class years ago called longshore drift which is essentially the process whereby currents etc move sand and thus create / maintain beaches etc.

      Putting all the piers will surely interrupt this and if it does we can all say bye bye 7mile beach, bye bye sand bar, bye bye tourists, bye bye Cayman.

      I could be wrong, but if it makes it into an EIA report it will be worded so that the average Joe doesnt pick up on it.

  11. Anonymous says:

    things get stranger and stranger…….

  12. lawrence says:

    soooooo???

  13. Anonymous says:

    Interesting.  And what would be in all this for the bread-and-butter stayover visitors?

    • Pending says:

      Cayman's newest attraction that replaced SMB and Sand Bar….Mountain climbing at Trashmore.