Port won’t cost Cayman

| 27/10/2009

(CNS): The development of the multi-million dollar cruise berthing facility in George Town Harbour won’t cost the Cayman tax payer a single cent, the port boss has said. Stefan Baraud who was appointed as chairman of the port authority in the wake of the General Elections in May has been a driving force behind getting the facility built. With no money in local coffers, however, the goal has been to pay for the facility with outside finance, and Baraud promises that he and the committee he has been working with have achieved that goal. With four potential developers left in the running, the announcement will be made very soon and work could start within six months, he says.

Speaking to CNS from St Lucia, Baraud said that in choosing the right investors the committee had followed very specific criteria relating to the developer’s financial strength, experience in similar projects, their design ideas and their ability to move quickly once they sign the deal. One of the key requirements is that whoever is finally awarded the contract must agree to use Caymanian contractors and workers in the development of the upland component of the project.

“One of the man things is that the cruise berthing facility has to benefit Caymanians during its development, as well as once it’s constructed,” Baraud said. “Whoever wins the bid will be required to contract local people and firms to develop the land side.”

He said that while the developers would probably have their own technicians and experts when it came to developing the pier and marine part of the project, as far as the development of the retail element was concerned there are plenty of local contractors and heavy equipment operators that are capable of doing that work, and the goal was to ensure that they would be part of this project.

Bids for the project had come from all over the world, Baraud noted, as far afield as the Middle East and Scandinavia, but whichever contractor eventually took on the development, the port itself would still belong to Cayman. The port chair explained that under the terms of the private partnership the developer would make its money by the earnings from the cruise lines that would berth at the new piers and from the rents gained from the retail units, which, he said, would be leased to local companies.

“This development will beat no cost to the Cayman Islands government; there will be no buy backs or 25 year leases as has been suggested,” he added. “The government is not giving any guarantees to anyone for this; it will be financed by private money and any suggestions that we will be paying down the line are nonsense.”

The proposed development of cruise berthing in George Town has always had its critics, in particular from those quarters of the community concerned about the environmental impact. Although it seems to be widely accepted (though not seen by everyone as a reason to do further harm) that the reefs in the harbour have already been undermined from cruise ship anchors, the impact of a pier development on Seven Mile Beach has yet to be clarified and there are real fears that it could suffer.

Baraud said that an environmental impact assessment (EIA) would be conducted to examine that and would start very soon. He said that despite recent fears that an EIA would not be done, he said that while a long and arduous study was not required, government still intended to undertake that assessment. He said it was important to be sure that Seven Mile Beach would not be damaged as a result of what is seen by those involved in Cayman’s cruise tourism as essential in order to protect the future of the sector.

During the previous administration a memorandum of understanding was signed with Atlantic Star to explore the possibility of developing cruise berthing facilities as well as a new cargo port in George Town further north of the existing site. That project, which met with considerable opposition, has since been shelved and plans for the development of the existing cargo area have not yet been detailed. Leader of Government Business and Minister for Tourism McKeeva Bush has, however, made it known that he is interested in pursuing a public private partnership to develop a commercial port facility in the eastern districts, a proposal which has also met with opposition.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Boy!!!!! Some things never change! I remember us talking about a cruise ship dock in 1985. Cant believe here we are now in 2009 and still no dock. If we had at least one dock built back then we would not have had the environmental damage that occurred over the years with the ships dropping their anchor. Just build the dock already!!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Are we really going to sit here and continue to post irresponsible comments? My family makes a living off this industry as taxi drivers and sales clerks. Who is going to pay my rent or feed my children when the ships stop coming because we do not have a dock. Just think of the alternative when I can’t support my family financially then maybe I will be forced to have to come and take from you! Somebody please just build this damn dock!

  3. 007 For Sure says:

    Welcome To Grand DART Island ,Brac DART Island ,Little DART Island.as of Nov 10th 2009 this is part of the new constituition or constipation LAW .As of that day you will have 2 choices Take it or Leave it…..GOD BLESS US ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. What a mess! says:

    More Dictatorship style Govt.

    This project, legal aid fiasco and ridiculous budget will all hurt Cayman terribly.

    Cayman is being led by the ignorant and greedy…and then we’re surprised that social ills are increasing…???

  5. O'Really says:

    Everything about the way in which Mr. Baraud is presenting this tells me it’s already a done deal. Playing down the need for a long and arduous EIA strikes me as code for " we haven’t carried out the assessment yet but I guarantee it will not raise objections to the development."

    7 mile beach is "essential in order to protect the future of the sector." I wonder if that’s all of 7 Mile beach or just the bits where the tourists are shipped?

    This is not my area of expertise but I warn all Caymanians and expats who care about this island ( and there are some expats who care ) pay attention. There is more to this than meets the eye. When something seems too good to be true, it is invariably too good to be true and the consequences are often disastrous. 

    There are some excellent points raised by posters on this thread ( and these are probably the tip of the iceberg ) that should be of concern to any government seeking to genuinely put the welfare of the people it represents first. If this government seeks to sidestep these points rather than openly deal with them, the people have every right to challenge where the government’s priorities lie. Pay attention to government’s actions on this, not it’s words.


  6. Anonymous says:

    Take what una get, I told you all so.  Under the LoGB and the rest of his crew this is what happens when you all don’t listen.

    Rollie, I expect that Mark and John John would agree with this but you.  I LOST all respect for you.   You all are so quite, you all have children too.  You think that what you save today will saved them when were gone.  NO, I don’t think so.

    The song say " Follow the leader, follow the leader"

    Father God, please come and take this place and soon.


    • Anonymous says:

      If we can’t learn WE MUST FEEL! It’s a pity that the innocent have to suffer with the guilty!

    • Anonymous says:

      Rollie has been chastened by his demotion and the others have been warned. We are under a dictatorship.

  7. Mars Mum says:

    Wait…shhh…listen for it….there’s a "catch" somewhere…i can FEEL it! lol

  8. Anonymous says:

    The PPM administration, under Minister Clifford’s Ministry, started a very detailed Environmental Impact Assessment, EIA, on this project. Why did the UDP abandon this EIA and why did their leader declare that "there was no need for an EIA….we all know whats out there and this will not impact the Seven Mile Beach"


    Where are the environmentalists today ???? ….and no I’m not talking about anonymous posters…..I’m talking about the Iron Wood Forresters and the PPM/Clifford objectors……where did they go ???

    Is it really that much money being invested to silence them.

    This reminds me of time that the well known and very vocal South Sound Environmentalist was objecting to a project in Red Bay and the developer hired the person and put the person out in the middle of the mangroves to count the leaves with a bottle of some of the Caribbean’s finest rum !!!

    Come on Cayman do not let them buy us out !!!!



    • Anonymous says:

      Lets not forget that the PPM announced at the last minute they would do an EIA, but only after they had already signed a secret (up to that point) agreement with atlantic star. The PPM Minister at the time made it clear that the project was going to go ahead regardless, but that measures would be taken to protect the beach.

      I for one still disagree with the piersin GT and it will cost the Cayman islands. You can be sure of that.   Instead of the cruise ship revenue going to help pay for government services (education etc) it will go to pay for the dock.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s called dictatorship my friend. ………and to think that some ignorant  seriously consider independence ………


  9. Bracker Dan says:

    Maybe it’s the Saudi’s… don’t they own the Port of New York as well? 

    Anyway, not sure who this Stephan is… seems he has a lot to learn, too bad it’s gonna be on our dime.

    • Anonymous says:

      Poor fella….he has alot to learn. Ask any cruise executive who will be familiar with projects like this…..they will tell you that the design alone will take one year.

      Why did the UDP abandon the Environmental Impact Assessment which Chuckie & the PPM started ???

      That would have been completed now and construction of the piers were scheduled to begin this month !!!!!!

  10. Mrs. Transparency says:

    Let the public decide.

    Why all the secrecy surrounding the docks.

    A few simple questions should be answered before this massive project is awarded.

    1. What is the enviornmental impact?

    2. Who are the 4 remaining developers?

    3. What do their designs look like and what is the impact of such design?

    4. What is their experience on similar projects?

    5. What is the business model and who will benefit most?





    • Thank god all us not dumb! says:

      Also ask him how is it possible for all these project to be precured in two weeks? This is dome for failing, write it down. PPP’s are AKA selling out the country.

  11. Anonymous says:

    This is a scary project to undertake. The new pier and land based area could easily run to $100,000,000.00. If the cost was that high over 20 years the cruise ships and rentals would have to generate $425,000.00 just to pay for the project. I am using the 20 year mark because at that point the berthing pier would need upgrades and repairs, adding more to the amount spent. The concerns regarding 7 mile beach are totally valid, if the beach is damaged, the number of cruise ships will drop. One poster mentioned the departure tax and landing fees, great point! How will the government increase revenue if it is handing over such a large revenue source? Answers please!!!

    • Caymanian at Heart says:

      well according to new models the sea level will rise by one metre by 2100 – so it won’t matter Cayman will be swimming with the fishes.

  12. Caymanian at Heart says:

    I hope Caymanians start speaking up.  Too many decisions are being made without the voters consent.  What about referendums?  Surely large projects such as this and the North Sound dredging warrant some polls?  And do the youth get a say about this all?

    There is always a cost – and it’s going to be the future generations of Cayman who pay.

    • Anonymous says:

      God help this country with this current government that has been elected. We need all the prayer in the world with disasterous plans they are making. All I can say Caymanians is take it to the Lord in prayer he is the one that can stop their madness !

  13. Anonymous says:

    Well its against the law for this project to be handled in this manner……with the XXXXX Committee.

    The PPM changed the law when they were in power and the Port Authority and all authorities are REQUIRED BY LAW to allow the Central Tenders Committee to handle ALL CONTRACTS WHICH EXCEED $250,000.

    But wait  – this is the UDP and the people elected them knowing that they would disregard the law and the Constitution……..so why should they have any regard for what the law actually says.

    ……and now we have McDinejad in the newspapers today talking about his 10 point plan to tackle crime. How about adding a point 11 that says will we imprison Cabinet members and their puppets who fail to follow the laws of this country !!!!

    It follows that any country that has a lawless government will end up with a lawless society !!!!!

    Accept it Cayman….this is what you voted for !!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      "The PPM changed the law when they were in power and the Port Authority and all authorities are REQUIRED BY LAW to allow the Central Tenders Committee to handle ALL CONTRACTS WHICH EXCEED $250,000".

      Really? Can you give us chapter and verse. Mac seems to think it is simply up to Cabinet to decide whether it goes to the CTC. 

  14. Lachlan MacTavish says:

    Must agree with the other posters……nothing is for free. How many countries don’t own and control their own port. Who ever finances and builds the port will want guarantees and a healthy return….what are the details. We wouldn’t be in this situation if the CIG had not over extended on cap projects.  

  15. Anonymous says:

    My soul is for sale. Great price but only while supply lasts!


    Better to build now rather than later before the cruise ships stop coming here and that portion of our economy dries up…and then people would complain about that

    • Anonymous says:

      Emmmmmmmmmm. Who does Stephan think he is fooling. This is just more UDP bulldozing! Trust that all you who voted in the UDP are happy with this. Guess the next thing we’ll be told is that we are no longer a british dependent territory but we are an island privately owned by  so and so! ie INVESTORS. 

  16. Anonymous says:

    Stephan unfortunately is too inexperienced to understand that there are no free lunches in this world. We will pay and pay dearly for this facility. Do not let them pull the wool over your eyes with their PR stunts !!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree Stephan is too inexperienced. Does this guy actually even have an engineering degree or any experience in the development of docks and harbours? Looks like anyone as long as they have a big mouth and wave a UDP flag can qualify for such as Chairman of the Port Authority. His comment about the port not costing the taxpayers a single cent already shows his incompetence by making a comment such as this.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wayne had a degree in law…does that qualify for chairman of the board..Kurt ran Hampsteads bankrupt selling pencils and you trusted him to run a country.. We know what he did with that!

        Stop with the utter rubbish and give the man a chance. All you PPM leftovers are so quick to judge. Look in your own back yard first before complaining about someone else’s.

        • Anonymous says:

          Okay dill weed (12:54) so you would like to have a Chairman of the Port Authority have absolutely no experience or knowledge on the Infrastructure of a port and also on the enviormental impact of such  a major project ? Now wonder our country is in the trouble it is in now.  People like youself who cannot realize the obvious and is oblivious to reality.

          • Gramma Tification says:

            That would be Dill Weed (proper name = capitals…)

            environmental – not enviormental.

            And the people like "youRself" you intended to refer to him or her  ARE oblivious to reality.

            Perhaps the reason the country is in such a mess is because of the complete lack of education out there??!!!

            Juss’ a taut.

            • Anonymous says:

              I think you got the meaning of my comments across quite clear (21:07). My grammar, punctuation  does not prove my lack of education. I happen to be a very busy person and I lack the time and patience to proof my posts. My comments above were referring to people like yourself who is possibly an educated idiot !!

              Obviously you have nothing better to do.


            • Anonymous says:

              Thanks for the "taut." You must be one of those "well educated" expats that exploit our country because you couldn’t make it in yours and I must be one of those "uneducated" Caymanians that continue to suffer because I have to provide a place in my society for you to my disadvantage. 

              Show me one of you expats here now that is qualified in constructing a port! Stop knocking us Caymanians, we have lived side by side by you for years and have allowed you growth and job opportunity that many of you couldn’t get or find in your own country.

              We are a peace loving country but we are growing really tired of this crap that all of us are uneducated. For the record, I am a Caymanian and I possess a Master’s Degree from a well respected university in the United States. What do you have?


              • Anonymous says:

                Moo (like the cow) so what if you have a Master’s Degree from the USA, big deal you obviously lack common sense!

                I happen to be a Caymanian and I dont blame expats for the problems we are facing. We as Caymanians sat back and allowed this to happen. Who gave away 3000 status grants and allowed investors to own most of this Island? ????? So stop whining and put your degree to some use.

                • Anonymous says:

                  I guess one can assume then that you are of of those ‘uneducated Caymanians" for real. If you had any common sense you would know that many of those same status grants came from Kurt and the PPM. This is not speculation, this is fact. This is not about Kurt or McKeeva, this was about you beating up on one of of our young educated Caymanians because he was given the opportunity to be the chairman of the Port Authority. Wayne was there, a lawyer and another young well educated Caymanian, did you here anyone badmouthing him because he had a law degree and was offered the job by the PPM. Be for real friend, there is not that many of us to go around, lets start building each other up and encouraging each other rather than tearing down those who have offered their time and talents to help us move our country forward.

                  For the record, I am niether PPM or UDP,  I am Caymanian and I will call a spade a spade. We have some Caymanians that are failures and have done serious wrong to this country. Stephan is a young Caymanian, with no axe to grind, give him a chance. If he messes up then stick it to him but just don’t paint him with the same paint brush you  do for Mckeeva.


                  • Anonymous says:

                    The Cabinet status grants were not, and could not have been made, by anyone other than the UDP Cabinet. Saying that the PPM submitted names is just a way to try to deflect blame away from the UDP Govt. It really does not matter how many names were proposed, what matters is how many were granted and the basis on which they are granted.  The mere fact that 10 persons apply for a position does not mean that the employer has to employ all ten, or that he can arbitrarily choose which to employ and ignore the lack qualifications of those he does employ.  So please, let’s putthis misdirection tactic to bed once for and for all.

        • Anonymous says:

          Kurt did not steal the countrys money to keep his business operating, Kurt did not misappropriate funds so as to prevent his business from going bankrupt! Kurt is not a thief, so please stop talking about people’s personal businesses, or we will have to talk about what some do to keep their businesses afloat, we will have to expose what some politicans, what one particular politican does to continually keep getting more wealthy!

          • Anonymous says:

            Who is talking about Kurt stealing anything. This was about his qualifications to run a business and country, none of which, based on his track record, he possesses.

            So permission now given for you to spurt off your mouth about how much McKeeva stole and his business dealings..Same old PPM crap!!

            There is not one politician I know of Kurt and McKeeva included that didn’t do things to benefit themselves whilst in office. It is an untolerable sickness that we as the electorate put up with and should expose it whenever it happens not keep it in our back pocket to use at election time. 

            Spit in the sky and it will fall in your eye!

  17. Jab Jab says:

    I find it interesting that when distantly previous governments proposed this they had a public meetings and it didn’t make it past that stage: the people spoke. When the previous government proposed this they learned and only had one public meeting, but again weren’t able to convince anyone this was a good idea. The current government has learned even better and have had no public meetings or consultation (special interest rants in the press are not public consultation). They just took the decision they wanted to take. – This is not a surprise, of course, we got the government we voted for.

  18. Anonymous says:

    If the Chairman thinks that it will not cost Cayman a cent then something is very wrong. Not paying out any money is not the same as costing a cent as by the sounds of things he is foregoing revenue currently being recieved to the developer (revenues to the Port will be reduced).  What is going to replace that funding?

  19. Anonymous says:

    There is a simple truth that I learned a long time ago: there is no such thing as a free lunch.

  20. Anonymous says:

    How is Mr Baraud qualified to know with certainty that an long and arduous EIA is not required?

    A rubber stamp EIA will be even more harmful to the Cayman Islands than no EIA at all.

    Not only will the opportunity be lost to take account of the likely impacts and make adjustments to plans to minimize damage – this will set a very dangerous precedent for what developers and the Government understand the purpose and process of an EIA to be. 

    What is at stake is enormous. If 7 Mile Beach is severly affected by this development (this definitely is a real possibility) – many tourists from cruiseships and longer stay visitors who would have otherwise come to Grand Cayman – will all together pass us and our fancy new dock over for other more pristine and not over developed islands – of which there are many choices.


    Cayman – Demand a proper, thorough and independent EIA is conducted.


    • Anonymous says:

      An EIA must be a requirement once there is a finalized plan/design.  Apart from the crime of potentially paving over Cayman’s Marine Wreck Heritage, there is the serious potential for silt and sediment pollution from dredging. This would impair reef life and thus the diving/snorkelling experience of the numerous established tourist sites along Westside – our tourist product! 

      Perhaps CITA’s interested parties should contact Skin Diver Magazine, Sport Diver, ScubaDiving.com, UNESCO, PADI, and others to air this issue so the international community can apply reasonable and timely pressure on this gov’t to pause and do the sensible thing for future generations.   


    • Geordie Sam says:

      You are 100% correct. What qualifies Stephan Baraud to make these statements or indeed to hold the position he does? – didn’t he use to run a resaurant in George Town – is that all the experience you need in Cayman to chair a major institution nowadays? Nothing so far explains how the contract can be awarded (or indeed even tendered!) before an environment impact study has been done. The Cayman Island people need to protest this forcibly ifthey care anything for their environment.

  21. Anonymous says:

    We are selling our souls.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Hmmmm, I’ve been around these woods long enough to know that when something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

    1). Why is this project decision being handled by Mr. Baraud and a "special" committee and not the Central Tenders Committee? Could it be to ensure that the "right" person gets the job?

    2). I am taking it that the money from the cruise lines he’s referring to is the cruise ship depature tax and or the environment protection fees. Both of these bring in millions for the Government each year, if they now go to a private entity, the revenue base the Government is trying to expand will be narrowed.

    3). How can an entity who do not have legal ownership of a property without any rights or gurantees lease said properties to someone else?

    4). I note the impact study will focus on not destroying seven mile beach (which is a few miles away) but not necessarily the marine life or ecosystem around the current harbor.

    5). I am and old man now, I probably won’t be around to regret this, but I do know, that no one is going to come from half way across the world to build a port for us out of the goodness of their hearts without a promise of a substantial return on investments.

    Just my contribution to the subject, we’ll wait and see how this one works itself out.


  23. Anonymous says:

    There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. This is going to cost us dearly in the long run.

  24. Anonymous says:

     There is always a price to pay  

  25. Anonymous says:

    So is it Dart who will own the port as well? when will he goes for the airport? Half of the Island and what else?…Grand Dart soon?

  26. Anonymous says:

    "With four potential developers left in the running the announcement he says will be made very soon and work could start within six months."


    Did I Read that Right?

    How do you award a contract BEFORE the Environmental Impact Assessment is completed?

    How do we even know that we are even going to build the port?

    Is this a fait accompli?

    –Concerned Caymanian

  27. Anonymous says:

    Nothing is for free and no doubt it will cost this country in a huge way, only prob is not many may have sense enough to see that as yet.

  28. Anonymous says:

    WOW. Wonder who the investor is……….. DART????

    If it sounds too good to be true… then maybe it is. Another bag over our heads senario.

    Thank God we have politians we can trust. WHat a joke….

  29. Anonymous says:

    believe all that and i have a bridge for sale in brooklyn……….

    nothin’ from nothin’ = nothin’  

    billy preston

  30. Anonymous says:

    I would hope that the UDP makes sure that new port has no adverse affect on SMB!! But how do you do that with no enviromental impact study?? If you ruin SMB……Cayman is finished.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Oh well that’s great. Thank God for the UDP.

    But – em- will we have control over it if someone else is paying for it?

    • Anonymouse says:

      Control over it would be wishful thinking if it belongs to someone else.

      I can still see my grand children having to pay for this ignorance.

    • Anonymous says:

      Who is/are we?

      If "we" need control, why don’t "we" finance and build?


    • Pommie B says:

      More to the point, how long will it be before it’s discovered that backhanders and directorships have been given to the Board members in return for awarding the contract???

      Perhaps they might even be able to run up a big bar tab and take advances on the salaries that they are not really earning….ahhh Cayman……..