2nd choice gets chance at port

| 08/12/2010

(CNS): Despite comments from the chairman of the Port Authority just over a week ago that DECCO (aka Dart) was still at the cruise port project negotiating table, government has now confirmed it has been talking to the second choice developer. An official government statement on Wednesday revealed the Dart deal was over and it had moved to a new deal with GLF Group/Royal Construction to build the George Town cruise piers. Government admitted that a mutually acceptable deal couldn’t be reached with DECCO but said the developer had agreed to make the existing “completed work package” likely to include the Environmental Impact assessment, which has not yet been made public, available to the Port Authority.

“This will allow the Port Authority to progress with the project without losing time to replicate this effort; and the government and the Port Authority acknowledged it graciously,” government officials said in the official release.

Government said it had already moved toward a Framework Agreement with GLF Group/ Royal Construction but none of “time spent negotiating with DECCO has been wasted” as the project could still be started and completed in the same time frame as originally proposed, official claimed.

GLF/Royal Construction have apparently committed to the same terms and conditions as those negotiated with DECCO but the new firm has agreed to a maximum lease period of thirty years for the residual upland.

“It is our intention to complete the main agreement within sixty to ninety days, which will allow us to start the project in the first quarter of 2011,” officials said. “It has always been the government’s stated commitment to get this project at a cost that is affordable andacceptable to the people of the Cayman Islands and by reaching an agreement with GLF/ Royal Construction, who were the second place bidder, we are well on our way to accomplishing that.”

Stefan Baraud, chairman of the Port Authority, who told CNS eight days ago that Dart were still in the game, said the port remained committed to realising an improved experience for our cruise ship visitors and this includes the berthing facility. “DECCO’s commitment to the country and willingness to make completed work available to us as we go forward will go a long way to making this much needed infrastructure improvement a reality sooner, rather than later,” he said in the official statement.

There were no details revealed about the financing of the project, which had been one of the key reasons why government had originally expressed a preference for Dart as it was one of the few bidders that would be able to self finance the project.

CNS contacted Dart for comments on the collapse of the negotiations and how much they had invested in the preliminary works, but the company said it had nothing further to add to what had been said in the official statement by the company’s CEO Cameron Graham. "DECCO is committed to helping the country realize cruise berthing facilities and will work with the Port Authority and government to assist.”

Government said it had a high level of mutual respect for the DECCO team but it, the Port Authority and the developer had agreed that it was the best option under the current circumstances to conclude the negotiations.

"The Cayman Islands government is committed to cruise tourism, and although we are disappointed that we could not reach mutually agreeable terms with DECCO, we sincerely appreciate the efforts and investment DECCO has extended towards the national goal of improving cruise berthing facilities," said Cline Glidden, MLA and the project lead on the cruise berthing project. “It is has always been the government’s main goal to ensure that the agreement with the port developer would be in the best interest of the Caymanian people.”

GLF is an international marine construction company that is entering into a joint venture with Royal Construction, a local firm which reportedly worked on the new George Town Library building.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    DECISIONS the wheel turns.

    The decisions and the award of the port contract are all made by two elected individuals in Govt and the port board and the port chairman are all puppets who in reality are absolutely mute, and have no say in the matter. The Italians with Royal and team is a great choice by a Govt which has no clue what they are doing. Both companies do not have the capitalization equal to the value of the project. This decision will end up being the embarrassment that this Govt. deserves, however regretfully the next Govt will have to clean up the mess to complete the project.




  2. Anonymous says:

    if we are building over this port…. WHY in the world do we need one East End.  Come ppl think straight!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    You have to look at the big picture.  DART has a vested interest in this Country..  They have a huge investment here and a love for our place. It shows in everything they do. You should have let them build the port, because if the project goes less than perfectly, and there’s a hurricane, a washout or some other financial setback during construction they will be in a better position with a bigger wallet and interests aligned with the Cayman people, to make it right.  

    What happens if something goes wrong with this Italian builder and local partner?  XXXX  So as soon as they run out of cash or something breaks – either they go begging to the government, do a crappier job to cut corners or stiff GLF who then pulls out like Tom Jones did on the schools.

    The local voters don’t read CNS so this is all moot venting but you should have given this deal to DART.  Yes they wanted 100 year lease in stead of the 30 years that the second bidder took.  But they were going to give us a real destination port we could be proud of.  Instead we’re going to get what we paid for.  And that’s not good for any Caymanian.

  4. Anonymous says:

    What utter crap! The government is the one making the decision on the port project. not the port board. The port wanted Dart to remain because of there ability to get the job done. this is a sinking ship.

  5. Concerned East Ender says:

    None starter deal for Decco and now a local construction company and GLF Group will take it on, and in process turnover all existing plans.

    These people believe that we are buying this "Foolytricks".

    Sure hope GLF will be able to identify their source of funding for this project as the government’s been preaching that it would’nt cost us a "red cent".

    Can anyone confirm if a member of the UDP elected team in government has direct ownership in this local construction company?

    CNS can you make a FOI on this please?


    Concerned East End citizen

  6. NJ2Cay says:

    I just took a look at thier website and they certainly have an impressive list of projects all over the world…Hopefully they can get the job done without major delays..

  7. Anonymous says:

    Cayman is lucky to be home to a few residents who are highly experienced in all aspects of shipping. We also have some very clever and imaginative  businessmen, yet it seems to me that  their expertise is not being utilized for this critical development. What a waste of resources! Let’s hope that GLF get the job done without preferentially distorting the flow of cruise tourists through George Town, so that everyone benefits.

  8. Anonymous says:

    DART has the resources to hire all the experience in the world so that is not a factor, and DART also has a vested interest to see the port completed, even if they had to suck up a loss at the end of the day, DART would have got the project done and it would have been done with class. Look at CamanaBay. I fear now that we may never see this much needed port and the cruise lines will pass us by because the politicians say they are looking out for Caymanian’s. If they were looking out for our best interest DECCO would have started this project early 2010 as originally planned and it would have been well underway by now. I’m not an expert in port construction but it seems to me just to relocate the necessary resources to build such a port to the Caribbean would takemonths. There is no way in hell Royal could start this project 1stQ under such short notice. And hopefully GLF Group has the necessary finances and vested interest that DART have to see it through. I doubt it. DART was our best bet Cayman!

  9. Anonymous says:

    It looks like the government has picked a good firm to get the job done…

    GLF has a list of projects on their website as per below…

    ( http://glfusa.com/index.php )


    CNS: If people want to see the list they can go to the website.

    • Anonymous says:

      I just saw the CITN News report on this story and after listening to the owner speak, I must say its all falling into place.

      Its comes as no surprise!

  10. Anonymous says:


    Last week the Chairman of the Port announces the Dart deal is still on, now it is not, what double talk is this from a Chairman who has no experience in ports or the shipping industry who has now chosen for the country and Italian company with no experience in cruiseship ports in the Caribbean teaming up with a construction company and other who have no experience in building ports. Royal’s only marine construction experience is building the Morritt boat dock which took them over a year of miss starts and different construction methodologies. Dart had no experience at building ports either which was a prerequisit of the expression of interests which was a charade because they had already decided to give it to Dart long before the charade to fool the people. This is another charade to fool the people XXXX


  11. Anonymous says:

    The country had a good honest Government and unna kicked them out. The worst is yet to come. Take ya licks and live and learn. Please!

  12. Anonymous says:

    So we are now going to entrust our Port development to another fronting arrangement. Hope this turns out better than the Matrix Recycling deal.

    I bet the PPM will love to see the tables turned on that deal.

    It appears that no matter how we try we just cant resist controversy.

  13. McCarron Morris MCLAUGHLIN says:

    Hi Cayman public,

    This shouldn’t be a surprise anybody – the government is always putting the "carriage before the horse", they should have never entertained DECCO’s offer in the first place as they had zero experience.

    When the public speak up about these things our leaders mock us and cast us in a different light, but it’s reality that the UDP government face now, it’s good to be ambitious in life, but not ambition and greedy.

    Now they are saying 1st Quarter 2011 construction should start, don’t these dummy’s know it takes over 2 to 3 years to "plan" just to construct a peer that size. It wont be possible to start this project for another 12 to 18 months.

    This government need to stop their avarice ways, because it’s so obvious.

  14. Anonymous says:

    the port will now never happen….. dart was our only hope…..

  15. Anonymous says:

    what incompetence…… dart one of the richest groups in the world has been turned down in favour of glf/royal(who?)…… how come it took them 12 months to come to this decision? surely the length of the leas would have been a primary factor in selecting dart in the first place……

    • John Evans says:

      I think you may find this has all been in the works for a lot longer than 12 months and pre-dates the present adminstration.

      Before I left over 2 years ago DART was rumoured to be showing interest (as in allegedly making the owners some very lucrative buy out offers) in a number of waterfront businesses. It was also common knowledge at the time that they were the front runner in any cruise berthing development.

      The real question is what prompted them to pull out? Was it, as this post suggests, government incompetence or was it the realisation that the whole project was a financial non-starter in view of the major changes in cruise intineraries that were recently announced.

      It seems that the bottom line on this is that DART started to make demands that they probably knew were unacceptable – so were these a genuine part of the negotiations or simply the developer opening a fire door ready for a fast exit?