Spotts dock delayed

| 07/09/2011

(CNS): Plans to upgrade the Spotts dock area where cruise ships anchor during bad weather have been postponed until government completes its negotiations with China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), the premier revealed on Wednesday morning. Answering questions in the Legislative Assembly from the opposition leader about government's plans to develop cruise berthing facilities in George Town, McKeeva Bush said that because of interference from the opposition and then the audit office wanting to know things, the plans to start that project in July before the deal with CHEC was completed have been shelved. “I told the governor I was sick and tired of all this,” the premier said.

Bush added that he had postponed the plan and had told the Chinese that government would not be going ahead with Spotts until the full agreement was in place.

Government signed an MOU with CHEC in June formalising negotiations for the Beijing based firm to finance and develop the two cruise piers in George Town and one in West Bay. Part of the MOU also included the refurbishment of the very poor facilities at Spotts, which Bush said he had wanted CHEC to begin working on immediately regardless of how negotiations progressed.

He explained that the planhad been for CHEC to begin that project and spend up to $3 milllion on the build out at the same time as negotiations continued towards the substantive agreement for the main cruise berth project.

Bush stated that had the government not been able to come to an agreement with the Chinese then it would have paid back the $3 million that CHEC would have spent on the Spotts facility but if a deal was reached it would have been part of that main agreement.

However, Bush said that because the opposition had complained about it the auditor started asking questions about where the $3 milllion was and where it was going and what account it was in, misunderstanding the goal.  Bush said in his frustration he made the decision to defer the Spotts plans until the talks with the Chinese for all the elements of the deal are completed.

Bush stated that the MOU signed by the two parties is valid until November, when he hoped the main agreement would be signed, but he did not indicate how the negotiations for the George Town  cruise port were progressing or what shape the deal would take.

The MOU with CHEC and the Cayman government was signed in June, two months after the premier's controversial decision to pull out of talks with GLF/ Royal Construction, a Caymanian/Italian partnership that said it was ready to break ground on the development within weeks of the definitive agreement, as it had then expected, being signed.

Since then, the firm has threatened to take legal action against the Cayman Islands Government as it says it had fulfilled of the elements required by the MOU and had a legitimate expectation that the government would move to a master agreement. The premier had taken a different view, however, and has since stated that he was within his rights to close down the talks with GLF as he did not think the firm had demonstrated its ability to finance the  project.

At the time of pulling out of the GLF talks, Bush said he believed things were moving too slowly and had said there was a pressing need to get the cruise berthing going as soon as possible. When he then moved to formal negotiations with CHEC, despite the claim of urgency, the MOU provided for a five month talking period.

Category: Politics

Comments (60)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    in any other country, a politician would be forced to resign if he ever said such nonsense in public…… however here it is just another day in wonderland……. bring on tomorrow!

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree, and I am truly shocked and beginning to become concerned about our holdings in the Caymans.  Here in the States, this would be a recipe for a lawsuit. I don't know of any reputable government or municipality that would allow work to begin on a project with just an "expectation".


      Can the Cayman Government just have a consistent way of running their policies? In one breath, the Cayman Islands Premier states that "plans to upgrade the Spotts dock area where cruise ships anchor during bad weather have been postponed until government completes its negotiations with China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC)".


      Then in the next breath, it is reported that "even though a full agreement had not yet been reached, Dart was prepared to start the road to get people back to work with the EXPECTATION that a deal would be signed".


      The world is watching you, and business/money in the Caymans seem unstable, especially in this global economic climate. You have to consider what this looks like to the outside world. It does not appear to be good governance with sound political and business practices, and reeks of favoritism and desperation on someone's part. Either have a level playing field for all developers who wish to do business with the Cayman Government, and let the Chinese begin the Spotts dock on "good faith" also, or keep all Crown dealings transparent to all stakeholders and the public and agreed to in advance to avoid any misunderstandings in the end, which the Caymanian people will eventually have to pay out to clean up. This is startling basic.


      As the key decision maker with potentially millions in your jurisdiction, it is causing us great pause to keep from pulling out of the Caymans as we know others have already done.


      Word of advice: get your political House in order if you are going to air your local dirty laundry for key decision makers worldwide to read. You might not have any further say if other investors and cruise companies also decide that they are not interested in the Caymans and then select other jurisdictions instead because they don't have a dog in this politically unstable fight.  Our investments are not worth being put at risk in the hands of an overseas government whose business dealings appear volatile.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Google it and you will see that the Chinese want to have the biggest navy and military force in the world. Couple that desire with the fact they now own a significant portion of infrastructure, including ports of entry, in various Caribbean plus Central American countries, and these countries owe them much debit and voila!  You suddenly have recipe for, not Chinese food, but rather a massive Chinese presence in many countries.  I don't know about you, but I feel very uncomfortable with that scenario, a communist country known for its human rights abuses and keeping down its own people, suddenly having massive interests and ownership in my country.   Maybe they want world domination, who knows? But all I can say is, beware of Greeks (or in this case, Chinese), bearing gifts.  A trojan horse if ever there was one.

  3. Anonymous says:

    "Nun-Sense"  !!!   I betcha ya bottom dolla the Guvna told him "Not today, Bo Bo!  Nuttin nah start on Spotts till you getcha t's crossed and you i's dotted and the AG signs off on it !!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    While we in Cayman continue to blog about nonsense Jamaica has just had the beautiful Falmouth Cruise facility completed by Royal Caribbean. "Oasis of the Seas" docks there and then cruises slowly by here every week, unable to stop. Ironical is it not, even Jamaica got its sh*t together but we can't because of our crab-in-barrel mentality. By November they will welcome 11 new cruise ships calls per month there and by December that goes up to 16!  Cayman you better wake up.


  5. Anonymous says:

    As long as we accept our from-birth programming that we exist solely to become productive members of the human collective, we will always prostitute ourselves to the highest price.

    The Chinese have a woeful record on human rights so we get outraged, then they offer to spend their money over here, (not including kickbacks, backhanders, back door deals and any other 'backery') and now everything is fine. We are a nation of hypocrites.

    China is not a nation that we should be dealing with until freedom of speech is allowed over there, because once they have gained a foothold over here, it will be their way or the highway. Dissidents will just magically disappear as they do in China on a regular basis.

    Nor should we deal with Dart who acquired massive wealth by purchasing $700m of Argentina's sovereign debt, refused to restructure and held out for every last penny. Trust me,Mr. Dart will not be vacationing in Buenos Aires any time soon.

    Oh, but he waves cold cash under our noses and our moral fibre just evaporates along with our backbone. If you do not think that for one minute Mr. Dart will one day be the owner of these islands, think again.

    And what is this I hear about the oil refinery being a done deal? Why would CUC ever want to burn anything else to make your airconditioning come on?

    When money is your god, it seems that ethics, morals, truth and family values just disappear faster than a Chinese dissident. Oh poor, broken, lost people. Where is your moral compass? Is it buried in the concrete of Camana Bay?

    Camana Bay is the Trojan Horse of the Cayman Islands. I never, ever go there any more and if you think that $5.50 is reasonable for a SMALL popcorn and $4.00 is reasonable for a bottle of water, keep on going, you are simply funding your own demise.

    It is a tacky, shoddily built place where stuff keeps breaking down, rooves leak (perhaps because of prices going through them?), water fountains don't work, mosquitoes are everywhere and don't get hungry there unless you've brought a spare arm and a leg with you. Then you see the hype in the cinema about it's a place for this and a place for that.

    It's a place to be avoided.

    • Anonymous says:

      you are so funny about Camana Bay and Dart, just plain funny…..I clicked your funny face, tried to twice actually.

    • Anonymous says:

      These opinions are shockingly shortsighted, not every single Chinese person / company is a human rights abuser.  The vast majority are dead again human rights abuse, and on top of that there are numerous Chinese persons who are risking their lives fighting for human rights, so why stereotype them and label them as one single group of human rights abusers?  Why penalise every single Chinese for the faults of a few?  Take a deep breathe, take a step back, clean your spectacles and think again.

      • Anonymous says:

        The faults of a few? Oh please.  I agree that the regular people in China are not the problem here, rather it is their ruling class who concentrate the power at the top and hold on tight to it, while keeping their own people down.  It is those people I don't want having a foothold here and owning anything here.  Educate yourself, go online and read up about Chinese corruption at the top.

      • Anonymous says:

        Rather it would be you who needs to clean your spectacles.  Or are you too busy licking your chops at your the piece of the pie? If you don't think that the Chinese money comes from the highest level you are mistaken, and yes there are many Chinese fighting for civil rights and we would do well to help them by refusing their oppressive government's march through our society as well.

        I'm sorry, you just wanted to disagree for the sake of it and it doesn't wash. Save your words for another time.

    • Anonymous says:

      Best post I have read in a long time.  Nothing more to be said, except that the way I hear my fellow Caymanians talk about Dart, you would swear he is equal to our Savior Lord Jesus.  "Oh, Dart, he is our powerful savior – how would we ever manage without him" or how about this one "Oh Dart, he is our charming prince on his white horse, just in time to save the day and rescue our economy".  Yep, that's the Koolaid they are all drinking.  When will they realize that Dart is just for himself.  Look at his antics in the other countries where he tried the same BS but the Governments there were smart enough to see through it and kicked his rich little ass out.  And what is most upsetting, is when I see educated Caymanians, like Ms. Doak, buying into it and helping to sell out her own country, and trying to justify the unequal land swop, just because she and others like her, now work for him and don't have to worry about unemployment ever again because he has deep enough pockets to pay them for the rest of their precious little lives.  They can't see longterm and what this will do to the country, to have one entity controlling so much of this little "2 by 4", and systematically eradicating any small entrepreneurs and competition.  People, please educate yourselves and Google his history in other countries.  You are going to rue the day you allowed Dart and the Chinese to take over.

    • Anonymous says:

      China is not a nation that we should be dealing with until freedom of speech is allowed over there, because once they have gained a foothold over here, it will be their way or the highway.


      @14.05 That statement is true but the same can be said about Cayman itself !

  6. Anonymous says:

    More power to the AG!!! 


    Bush needs to be held to account.


    Maybe he would prefer to be an African dictator.



  7. Anonymous says:

    CHEC = Chinese Gov't = Not fettered with having to obey western laws and honour committments = We are going to get screwed…again.  Our comrade leader proposes that CHEC not only build, but RUN the facilities = read: import their people to run things and no jobs for Caymanians.  The only worse scenario I could imagine would be forging a national alliance with Sudanese Warlords….perhaps that'll be proposed next week.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Mr Bush,

    Simple question, IF you don't sign a deal with the Chinese and the dock has been built where in the budget is the $3 mio you will need to pay them back?

    IF you have no intention of paying them back you must already have granted them the contract, even if its only in your head and not on paper – just details to work out I guess.  Even IF the deal is not yet crystalised you paint yourself into a corner with 3 million reasons why you would have to sign a deal with them.

    Sign the deal or pay up $3mio you don't have, sounds like a Triad sort of proposition!

    • Anonymous says:

      All in 'good faith'.

    • Anonymous says:

      Here's the thing most people don't realize.  Here is the Chinese's general modus operandi.  They come promising all these big loans and "incentives" of other things they will throw into the deal, to sweeten it and make it more palatable.  It matters not that some other company has already participated fairly in a bid and won the bid fair and square, while they (the Chinese firm), did not even participate in the bid.   They think nothing of stabbing that bid winner in his back and "pulling" that job to themself in a seemingly underhanded, very backdoor way.  Proper and moral business ethics and conduct are just nice-sounding words. Following proper procedures for bidding matters not to them.  That alone speaks volumes about the nature of Chinese firms who do such deals.  But they make promises based on – wait for it –  certain conditions such as, they must be allowed to "run" things, or bring "some" of their people over to do the work (translation, most of the workers hired on the job are Chinese and few token locals hired – read what happened in the Bahamas and how the Bahamian PM had to travel to China to beg them to hire more Bahamians as they were having social problems with too many Chinese working in that country while locals were unemployed).  They bring their own ships, food, materials, goods and labor, right down to the kitchen sink from China, build barracks for their people to live in, someone to cook 3 meals a day for them so they never have to step foot outside and support the local food outlets, etc.   So this big loan that they give to the country doesn't really help the local economy, it mostly circulates out of the country and back to – you guessed it – China.  So whose economy really benefits?  And whose economy ends up still owing the big loan plus interest?  You guessed it – the country that invited them in.  So in a way, though the country thinks it is benefiting itself, it actually ends up paying triple for that loan.  Read the Jamaica Gleaner online and google what happened there and the questions now being asked by the Contractor General of certain politicians who facilitated the Chinese' entry into that country.   It is a huge eye-opener my friends.  And lo and behold, that company crossed over to here.  The same one that was implicated in a bribery scandal in Bangladesh.  Does anything more need to be said? 

  9. Anonymous says:

    What is delayed in Cayman is finished on time anywhere else.  What is promised in Cayman is delivered anywhere else.  What is demanded anywhere else is lost in Cayman.  Cayman will lose what it can never control.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The Spotts landing has beenan embarassment  for years. Why this has never been given the attention it deserves is a mystery for all. Four months worth of losses at the Turtle Farm would have had it sorted. When there are  white elephants in the room, governments are very good at painting them in camouflage, and then thinking themselves absolutely brilliant when they suddenly re-discover them because they're worth a vote or two. This particular elephant has been loafing around for twenty years.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because………………………….its Cayman.  No money for things that do not directly effect the premeirs life or lifestyle.

  11. Anonymous says:

    A large junk of these Island's population has to wish time away (which is really a horrible thing) just because the next election cannot come fast enough!

    I just hope that this time people can actually see that neither Tom, Dick or Harry who have been in this politricking for years are any good and it is time for new blood. It really can't get much worse, so why not give someone new a chance?!?!?!

    • A little fact finding says:

      Let's look at these Caribbean Chinese deals….China is wooing the Caribbean.  We are either "in" or we are "out".   Being "OUT" says we align ourselves with the USA (who is already trying to take down Cayman with FATCA and killing offshore banking).

      China is looking to get a foothold for their OFFSHORE ASSETS.  IF CAYMAN DOES NOT STEP UP, there are over a dozen other poor Caribbean countries that will trip over themselves to get the red China dollar.  

      Read this article:

      • Anonymous says:

        What a great plan!

      • Anonymous says:

        So what your saying is that because they got the money, we should fling open the doors and welcome them, while they treat their own people like dirt with flagrant human rights abuses?   Is this the type of people you wish to do business with? My grandma always said, show me the company you keep, and I will tell you who you are.  Go ahead, sell out yourself if you wish, but don't sell out the rest of the country with you.  Why don't you move to China and do us all a favor?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Speaing of docks, whatever happened to the one we were going to have in BT for the people?  Oh yes, my bad sorry I forgot…. Bush and his cronies put a stop to that and tore down everything that had been started when they came into power….  and that continues to be the trend… speaks volumes.

    • Anonymous says:

      that silly dock would have ruined your beach there….you should be glad that politics got in the way of that one.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Gosh.  The audacity of the Auditor General's office.

    Fancy wanting to know how the peoples money is spent!  And to top it all he has contributed to the premiers feeling of being 'sick and tired' of not getting his own way.

    Thank God we have an autonomous AG!

    McKeeva please retire, and while we are at it can the Governor go too?  He does not appear to be very active in all of this at all.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not sure about your entire comment here. Please note that the Auditor General receives instructions from the Gov and only the Gov. Sooo, for the AG to be doing his job, and doing a good job, it would mean that the Gov is doing his job. Savvy?

    • biker says:

      "sick and tired of all this" = not agreeing with abiding by the laws, rules and regulations of the Cayman Islands.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I hope when November comes and that agreement is fully completed, that the Auditor General will audit the Chinese deal, compare it to the previous deal, and see if it is really a good deal for this country and if it is getting value for money.   Don't wait till after the job is started or completed, do it before any work even starts – that is the only way to ensure good governance.

  15. Anonymous says:

    time to resign mac… are an embarresment to the human race…..zzzzzzzzzzzz

    howmmany times have you failed over the last 2 years….i've lost count…..

    • Anonymous says:

      Zzzz  how can you count when all you do is zzzzz write an incoherent sentence and then zzzzz again time to give up and seek help.

  16. Anonymous says:

    america is by no means perfect, but at least if we dont like you we get rid of you for good in 4 years. take note caymanians. there is always the blame game, but if you dont do something good for the people, you know your a one term president.

  17. Anonymous says:

    please let these past months show caymanians—if you want at least some change in your govt. you must elect a new premier every couple years, not go back and forth with the same men, the same politics, blame each other, and their family and friends getting all the good jobs and contracts, new guy every couple years, he'll have new friends, new people toblame, but just maybe something will get done. america is by no means perfect, but at least we have a choice to boot you out in 4 years.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Darryl an his brother Darryl could do a better job running this country.

  19. Singing Chicken says:

    But how can we do anything at a quick pace?

    Keyboard solo – take it away John John . . .

    • Anonymous says:

      (singing) It's time to put on makeup, its time to dress up right, its time to play the music on the muppet show tonight ! da da da da….  I am sorry folks that video of the Premier singing just transported me back to the days when I used to watch the muppet show and sesame street… ah the memories, when life was more simple and peaceful…oh how I wish for those days….

  20. slowpoke says:

    Has anyone seen any plans as to what this "refurbishment" entails?  I have been unable to find any information. 

    There are many things wrong with the Spotts facilities but, it would still be interesting to see where the $3 Mil is going.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is probably going to be a church built on the property, maybe an outreach facility for Wesleyan Holiness in West Bay 🙂

    • YankeeDoodle says:

      I think there are consultancy fees to be paid before and after planning permission is obtained.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Referring to paragraph 5 of the above CNS report…….I would assume that the Chinese would start the $3M works without any formal agreement in place. Again, assuming that the Chinese completed the $3M works and Government and the Chinese could not then come to an agrement on the full project (all the works proposed). So now Government is obliged to pay  the Chinese the $3M, which they have agreed to pay, but the total works completed are now only valued at $1.5M. Where do we stand here with no formal agreement in place and obviously no system in place to monitor the value of works undertaken up to the $3M ceiling?

    More taxpayers' money wasted.

    The Spotts dock has been in this sorry state for ever so long so why go out on a limb now to hurry the project without a formal agreement in place? Too risky!!!!

  22. nauticalone says:

    Once again, Mac Mac's incompetency shows in his very poor presentation here!

    If you're "sick and tired of all this" (providing answers about Govt. projects) then step aside/down!

    • Anonymous says:

      Is there really anyone that is surprised by yet another delay? And did you notice once again that he is blaming others as always? It was Mckeeva Bush that threw out GLF & hooked up with the chinese. It is Mckeeva Bush that has caused the delays yet he blames everyone but himself! I wonder why hegot rid of GLF & hooked up with the chinese (actually, I don't have to wonder).
      Mckeeva Bush has been in charge for over 2 years & has accomplished nothing yet he continues to blame everybody else for his failures.
      The GT port (& Spotts dock by extension) should have started long ago, but Mckeeva Bush is more interested in playing politics & blaming others while businesses suffer & close in town. What a pitiful excuse of a leader he is!

  23. peter milburn says:

    I dont think that many of us in the general public have any problems with the upgrading of the Spotts dock as it is sorely needed.The GTown dock is also needed BUT leave the proposed Turtle Farm dock completely OFFthe table.The dock in West Bay will only serve to create more environmental problems along that beautiful side of the island and quite possibly cause more damage to the western side of the island.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Surprise, surprise

  25. Anonymous says:

    I feel sorry for the state of politics in our country.

    The lack of constructive politics will lead to the demise of our country. When we wake up it might be too late as the cruise industry fades away over the horizon.

    Only we are too blame and not the foreignors .

  26. Anonymous says:

    Damn auditor general..;-)

  27. Anonymous says:

    Mac, stop your effing foolishness about telling the Governor you're "sick and tired of all this" and trying to blame it all by implication on civil service /audit office scrutiny. You must follow rules so we know how  our… repeat OUR,… repeat again OUR money is spent. Your first name is McKeeva, not Adolph, Benito or Josef…or for that matter Hugo or Mohammar or Hosni

    . Many of us who supported you in the last election are completely against this hysterical rabble rousing populist anti- civil-service-accountability approach you are babbling on about and you cannot count on our votes. Grow up, Mac! Learn to be a statesman and govern by consensus. West Bay and the Brac will not always elect these intellectual pygmies that are supporting you now.

    Don't you remember how, after the 2005 Election and the election of the new Cabinet, you slunk, humiliated, out of the House arm in arm with Edna Moyle, the Speaker, your party having taken a dreadful slamming in the polls?

  28. Anonymous says:

    McKeever reminds me of my ex, blaming everyone for his problems but himself.  You know you can't take the same 10 steps and expect different results.

    • Anonymous says:

      That's why he's your ex and your alot happier::))  Does appear to be quite prevelant here amongst the 'male' species – non-macho cavemen::))   Not all, of course.

  29. Anonymous says:

    ♫♫♫What I see happening ♫ is pure unaduterated political rubbish ♫♫♫

  30. James Ebanks says:

    ‎…some people will keep throwing blame at others, because it's their only way to hide their own mistakes…

  31. Chris Johnson says:

    Does anyone understand any of this? Certainly I do not. Why, just why, can Bush not give us all the details and stop treating Caymanians like mushrooms, keeping us in the dark and feeding us BS.
    Blame the AG and get another one when this one’s time is due.For those interested in our wellbeing read the press in the TCI. Deja vous?

    • Anonymous says:

      My, my Mr Johnson: Well said, sir. Can we ask you to put the very considerable resources you have earned here over the last 40 years towards a run for election? You would make an excellent MLA.

      • Married to a Caymanian says:

        Hear Hear, Is Chris Johnson able to run for Government?  An ideal person for the job!  I'd like to see more business leaders stepping forward to offer their expertise to sort this country out.

        By the way, the Chinees HAVE started many projects around the region.  Just last week in Kingston I saw the Port Royal road expansion project.  That being said, my prominant local host did express their doubts as to how much hanky-panky was involved in the deal….but the $300 million dollar project WAS underway!

        So, how do we get the Chinese dollars and projects moving in Cayman and still keep the auditors happy?  Either our Caribbean cousins have found a legal way to cook the books, or they are foolin somebody.  Hmmmmmm….

    • Anonymous says:


  32. Anonymous says:

    The Spotts dock is really a good thing, if presented properly I am quite sure that the entire government including HE will support it. 

  33. Anonymous says: