Chinese get 49 yrs concession

| 21/06/2011

(CNS): The Chinese state owned company which has entered into a deal with the Cayman government to build the cruise port in George Town will be getting a concession of 49 years, according to the MOU. Government has agreed that China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) will build, operate and transfer the cruise piers and upland port development under a concession agreement. The firm will receive a share of the passenger fees from the cruise arrival figures in order to recoup the cost of financing both the George Town cruise berthing project and the more recently announced cruise berthing facilities in West Bay as well as the renovation of the Spotts jetty.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) which was signed in June between the premier and CHEC, but has not been signed by any representative of the Port Authority,  calls for exclusive negotiations with CHEC and the Cayman government until November of this year.

The firm will be undertaking a feasibility study, the MOU reveals, to establish whether the investment is worthwhile, which will be completed by the end of July with a view to beginning the project in November. The MOU also asks the Chinese firm to supply proof of financing within ten working days of the document, which is dated 13 June and states that if CHEC does not do so government can terminate the agreement immediately.

Government has agreed to supply the firm with the related information regarding the necessary approvals, including the EIA, and provide the firm with the support it needs, as well as the areas for the developments, the work-permits it will need, waive duty and get the necessary minimum passenger guarantees from the cruise lines. The deal also includes anagreement by the Chinese state owned firm to sub contract work to some local contractors, according to the MOU.

In a separate element of the deal CHEC has agreed to start the Spotts work by 15 July, having advanced some $3 million for the early start of this part of the deal. The MOU states that a separate contract has already been signed with the Port Authority in relation to this part of the project. The agreement to start work on the Spotts dock before the rest of the MOU has been settled was at the request of the CIG but does not impact the rest of the deal the document reveals.

The premier revealed on Wednesday in the Legislative Assembly that he had signed the MOU with CHEC. The talks with the Chinese came in the wake of the premier’s decision in April to walk away from the previous exclusive talks it was involved in with GLF/Royal Construction.  Less than three weeks after the revelation by CNS that government had pulled out of the GLF talks we also revealed that the Chinese firm was seeking an immediate MOU with government.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The silk roads are here, smooth driving.

  2. Anonymous says:

    As this entity is owned by the Chinese government, how can it (the Chinese government) be allowed to run the port of a British overseas territory? Is the UK government agreeable to this?What happens when Chinese military craft are in the area, having perhaps visited another communist country (Cuba), will the Chinese government open our (its) port to them? (China is seeking to extend its influence world-wide, and is building more aircraft carriers for this purpose.) And why are we doing business with a repessive state that imprisons and tortures its citizens anyway? Or isn't that a convenient thing to talk about and take into account? (Too messy, just pretend it isn't happening, stick your head in the sand, life's more comfortable that way.) Go on, look up China's human rights record and learn of this barbaric country's current murderous practices against its own people, and then ask yourself, are thesethe people we should be associating ourselves with (along with a few middle east ones and others, it's true) as a democratic, Christian country? Are our values the same as a country (China) that once lamented the "loss of human resources" as part of a government response to a natural disaster that had claimed thousands of its citizens lives? As it is it's an aberration that we are associating ourselves with Cuba (another thug state that imprisons people for disagreeing with its communist rulers) and now we are going to roll out the red carpet for this barbaric monster that routinely tortures people to death for (amongst other things) expressing their religious beliefs? Personally I shudder at the thought. But perhaps you'd prefer to look the other way as regards these realities, and simply look at it all from a business perspective, rather like the well-known (and still in business today) German companies who designed and built the concentration and extermination camps, (including the ovens and the metal trolleys) at the behest of the Nazis. No blood on your hands either, I guess.

    • Anonymous says:

      When you read international news, you realize how China is moving to have the largest naval fleet.  And they are thinking of allowing them to control their port for the next half – century?  Talk about selling their souls to the devil.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone answered the question:  "Why do we need a cruise ship pier at the Turtle Farm".  To quote Mac "this is foolishness."

  4. Smith says:

    Did the government look into the issues Jamaica had? Did the house vote on this? Is there any kind of stipulation that a majority percentage of employment and contract work be comprised of caymanians and local companies? So many questions.

    • Anonymous says:

      Where the Chinese build they bring in their own workers – no locals will get jobs.

      Should check if PR and status were also promised as with the Shetty deal.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Mckeeva, could you please start doing some due diligence? Have a research analyst look into this company a little! How do you have such a authority to go and make these decisions? Dare I say it but, where is England to knock some sense into this man when we need it. I do not support this development nor do I think it sounds legitimite. Careful who you break bread with!

    Stop complaining about the opposition tying to "make you look bad". Believe me, you're making yourself look bad all on your own. You are a power hungry man with a huge ego. You don't run this country, you're running this country into the ground. Do us all a favour and resign.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am sure he did his due diligence well and they were chosen on the basis of that.  

      • Anonymous says:

        I am not sure that the LOLs and the thumbs down got the poster's point.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Is this "contract"even legal?? We are not a sovereign state we are British Overseas Territory. On what grounds can a Premier acting on behalf of a Ministry of Government sign a "contract" binding the entire Territory to a state run communist country????

  7. Anonymous says:

    A communist country will control our port for the balance of my life.  God help us, PLEASE???

  8. Anonymous says:

    I want to thank Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 06/21/2011 – 11:58 for that eye opening post. The most intriguing aspect of it is that in a case involving China Harbour Engineering Co  constructing a port in Bangladesh the US Dept of Justice took jurisdiction since the bribes were allegedly routed through US Banks and that it sought to recover the Funds under US money-laundering laws. 

  9. Sumtin Wong says:

    First of all, I would like to say that I amNOT in favour of doing business with CHEC, given the disturbing allegations made against them.

    Now just for a minute let us accept that CHEC is an honourable and upright company to do business with. Why does our Premier have to be so parochial as to build another white elephant in West Bay at the rest of the country's expense?

    I really hope that the next government cut off all funding for ALL projects in West Bay until the voters there are willing to remove him from office just to get one large pot-hole in the road filled in. If anyone thinks that is a bit harsh, just remember that the rest of us have been paying $10 million per year every year since Boatswain's Beach opened just to keep 100West Bayers employed.

    • Anonymous says:

      yes the majority W B'S make senseless choiceses when voting, so do the other districts. how do you think he got the power the other districts voted in his stooges. u all gave him the power to run things now u want to blame others.

      i bet u voted for his platform in your district.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Caymanians the time is now to DEMONSTRATE IN THE MARCH!
    If you do not then you will be marched over by oppressive governance and greedy destructive developers knowingly destroying the East End Water Lens, the scenic Sea View Drive, leaving Caymanians taxpayers to pay for the entire infrastructure external to the Mega Quarry. 

    How much sense is there in several ships bringing rocks each week and Mega Quarry shipping out our rocks each week? Madness.

    Only DUMBOS could support this crazy damaging nonsense.
    Caymanians the time is now to DEMONSTRATE IN THE MARCH!
    Join the email list to keep updated on the DEMONSTRATION MARCH or to offer help:

    Please circulate the DEMONSTRATION MARCH to your entire email list.  If you are a Civil Servant then set up an anonymous email account (on Gmail, Yahoo, etc.) that does not use your real name e.g.

    Get the word out CAYMAN IS NOT FOR SALE, NO BOBO NO!

    C U Tuesday noon!


  11. Whodatis says:

    Folks, calm down.

    What we are witnessing is nothing but a repeat of what the USA, UK, France, Portugal, Spain etc. did / are doing over the second half of the 20th Century and up to this day – albeit in far away African, Asian and Eastern European lands, you know – "3rd world" as some call them. (How many of us gave 2 craps about those nations and its people?)

    Shell Corporation, De Beers, BP, even Starbucks are but a few examples.

    Should we dig into the history of corruption, illegality, manipulation, and downright low-dirtiness of the West as they propped up themselves economically?

    All of a sudden the Chinese are a big, scary beast now that the fortunes and power structure of the world is reversing.

    To call out China for their "Communist" ways and less than stellar reputation in certain regards has got to be the greatest display of ignorance and hypocrisy ever.

    The problem is that many of us know not the BEAST that is the West.

    We enjoy the comforts and fairytale "freedoms" in our cozy little worlds, but let us remember that the West is absolutely dependent on the natural resources of the East.

    Therefore, how did the West gain its, albeit diminishing, position of power? Via democracy and policies of fair and equitable trading?

    I think not.

    Of course, like many others, I do not agree with certain aspects of this agreement, but some of the comments on here are ridiculous to say the least.


    • Anonymous says:

      Whodatis, you must be that guy that keeps calling Sterling Dwayne's show and rabbitting on in a tired,drawling, affected, pseudo philosophical monotone about things, while dear old Sterling mumbles in agreement without having – like us – the slightest idea what you are saying, except when it is anti-UK. If you are not that person then God help us because then it means we have two articulate Caymanians with all the time in the world to post/broadcast foolishness when the real world is at work.

      • Whodatis says:

        Negative. He is not I.

        In any event, I have merely spoken on the reality of the world as it stands today.

        I strongly suggest that you and those like you wrap your head around the changes that are taking place in the world today, otherwise you will experience a very frustrating period between now and your dying day my friend.

        "China" is not doing anything contrary to, or even to the degree of for that matter, that what our more comforting and familiar powers have done the world over and are continuing to do.

        Just as Cayman is changing so is the world. Either deal with it or continue to cry for "yesterday" in vain.

        P.S. You actually sound a bit like the guy you are describing – multiple personality perhaps?


        • Anonymous says:

          Man, if I had a dollar for every "thumbs down" ever given to Whodatis……..

    • The Beaver says:

      I hope that it's only a day pass that they let you out on…  The Beaver

  12. Anonymous says:

    We need to look hard at this article and understand what people have done. Our government should really do its part to protect this place and we should emand it. People will come and spend money if we keep it pristine….Oil refineries and killing coral on East End from a new port is not the answer to our economy. We are all hurting and the cost of living is out of control and that's one reason why the government thinks this is the right time for an easy sell. Think about it folks…China Harbour under investigation for kickbacks….East End Port, Cronyism…These guys in government are not thinking long term about this island. They are thinking about their term in office and setting up their network for retirement. Not you and me. Our childrens future is our Gem in the sea ….not black skies and big gaping holes in our rock.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I am trying to figure out whether this will be a 'bull in a china shop' or 'a china shop in a bull!'

  14. Anonymous says:

    oh boy. here we go again with the generic CNS headline "caymanians do mind boggling s*** and no one does a damn thing about it".

    Wendy/Nicky, this is absolutely NOT meant as a criticism, it's an indication of all you have to report, it is happening every day. No one will do anything to change the course of the Cayman Islands, because the Caymanians are too brainwashed about their 'cuntrah' and the expats are thrown out as soon as they try and improve anything.

    Mark my words, Cayman will be nothing but a two bit rope making/coconut bartering  spec within your childrens' lifetimes.

    • Anonymous says:

      An unverified report reveals that Spotts Jetty is to be sunk to become a new dive site.

    • Anonymous says:

      amen and amen.  it's started and it won't take long…

  15. William Verhoeven says:

    Does anyone know what exactly they are going to do with the Spottts jetty?

    • Anonymous says:

      They are going to export the Spottsjetty to China and import a proper dock from China! Now is the time to put in your order if you like Chinese food!

  16. big whopper says:

    Can we get 49 years of sum free Egg Fu Young thrown in this deal?

    • Anonymous says:

      With stereotyped, racist comments like this, I doubt that anyone from China will want to come here. 

      Grow up. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Great!! They are the evil empire and anyone with a brain would think twice about doing business with them.

  17. nauticalone says:

    Another strong reason for the protest….and then referendum to call for new elections!

  18. Ubelivedat says:

    Caymanians, pls Dont Forget…

    The closure of the West Bay road is a project that brings high speculation that it will be developed into another major 5 star multi-million townhouse style condos. 

    I'm wondering if the sales commission on these will be given all EXCLUSIVE rights to Cambridge Real Estate??

    We are aware which big macowns this company!!

    This type of "arrangement" was done with the Ritz Carlton – this is a fact, not speculation!!

    However i have learned that when a proposal for development does not make sense, LOOK beyond the surface, think it thru, dig deeper, review past actions……..the answer can always be found there!!

    • Rorschach says:

      He better hope they do a better job of selling THOSE condos than they did with selling the ones at the Ritz..there is a reason why MR pulled the account and brought in his OWN sales people…

  19. Anonymous says:

    Is this not the company alleged to have used bribery to get contracts??

    just a thought

    • Swine says:

      Of course it is, why do you think our government is dishing everything out to them?

    • Anonymous says:


      Is the Anti-Corruption Commission checking into thisdeal?

    • Anonymous says:


      Check out-

      The verdict is due on Thursday.

      Sounds like signing the MOU was rushed through before this could hit the fan. 

      Guess it will be containers full of Chinese-made 50" plasma TVs doing the rounds at the next election 🙂


      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks for pointing this out, this situation just gets worse and worse……………..

    • Anonymous says:

      let us go down the list again

      1st. Cayman Bank

      Ritz Carlton

      EE Mega Quarry

      Turtle Farm

      How many others have a Mac signature to them??

  20. Anonymous says:

    The projected $200 million "investment" will never be felt here. The Chinese will bring ALL materials from China, most likely duty free, and the workforce will most likely also be imported directly from china. Only the local rice merchants will benefit (unless they bring that too).  

    • Anonymous says:

      "Only the local rice merchants will benefit".   With stereotyped, racist comments like that, I doubt that anyone from China will want to come here.  

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh, wait.  You forget.  They would be ex-pats and AS WE'VE HEARD 5,862,916 times over the last few years ex-pats from all over the world LOVE to come here for the money, money, money!  That's all ex-pats care about is money.  MOOOOOOOOOONEY!


  21. Anonymous says:

    Great I'm going to open a Chinese Restaurant down by the pier. Going to bring in only Chinese to run it due to the language barrier. Have to have Chinese cooks as well because afterall they are cooking Chinese. Then I'll open a Chinese Grocery Store and import all from China becuase you just can't get here. The staff will be from China becuase afterall the language barrier. We'll bring in the non-perishables. The perishables, notably shark fin for soup will be abuntantly fresh. If not from here on the sly then Honduras would love to have a new market. They are running out of room in China and they will like a small island who politicians are eating out of their pocket. Chia Mekeewa and and Pica Elio

    • Anonymous says:

      The language barrier you bring up is a very good point. Are Caymanians going to be expected to learn Chinese in order to work on this project? If not, how will we communicate with the Chinese bosses? One more excuse NOT to employ Caymanians!

      • Anonymous says:

        Guess the 'do you know English' test at Immigration for a work permit will not be happening……

        • Anonymous says:

          No, they will have a guaranteed number of work permits and they won't be subjected to the immigration law like the rest of us are. I don't care where people are from, all laws should be applied to them.

  22. Anonymous says:

    This is not some third party construction group like DECCO or GLF that would have some sensitivity to our unique marine ecosytems, western laws, and agreements and behave predictably.  The UDP are inviting corrupt communist Chinese admirals 10,000 miles away, and their subordinate commodores, to run our docks for 50 years (who will make them leave after 50 years?).  No disscussion?  Everyone is fine with this?!?  What is our recourse months or years from now when their merciless emissaries are instructed to repeal the deal or to tell the FCCA where to go when it's not up to their standards?  Perhaps they'll determine that a cruise ship terminal was not in their best interest and that the Fleet Admirals would rather transform into the naval facility they were always planning?  Perhaps there would be too many non-cooperative people here and they would go missing, or hung as a warning to others.  The world would be sympathetic, but there is no allied nation with adequate spare resources to rush to our aid if we were overrun completely.  

  23. Anonymous says:

    Will they be taking in to consideration the 1ft sea level rise by 2050 and the 5ft rise expected in 2100? Is Bush thinking about the impact of global warming on the future of the islands?

  24. Anonymous says:

    Chinese companies have already got billions of dollars stashed away in Cayman accounts so I suppose it was logical to let them own a bit more of the island?

    LOL, this just gets more insane by the day!


  25. Frank says:

    And you wonder why the country is in debt!?!? All McKeeva is doing is spending money and not collecting! Funny…this Ritz has been built now for years and is doing well yet they still owe how many millions in concessions? You my friend are a joke and an embarrassment to this country! Do us a favour a step down before you sink us!

  26. Anonymous says:

    In my view the people who negotiated this ought to get 49 years and I don't mean in office.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Clearly Cruise Tourism is in serious need of some rejuvenation, and so is our economy as a whole.  We obviously need to upgrade our cruise facilities or risk being left behind by the new mega cruise ships.  The shops and taxi and tour operators are already feeling the pinch for 2011.  We will see the decline in cruise passenger numbers and revenue in the next year or two. 

    Without risk there is no reward/return.  We cannot sit back and watch our economy further deteriorate.  The Chinese have the knowledge, technology and capability to produce excellent berthing facilities in the Cayman Islands.  China is currently helping to build infrastructure in many developing countries, not only can they do it, they can do it cheaper than the rest of the world. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Construction is one thing…this MOU offers the entire management of ports and uplands for 50 years.  I assure you that 10,000 miles away the Chinese Admiralty are not thinking about Cayman's taxi drivers. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Got to laugh – just because it is a Chinese company we now have people saying that they are here to take over. Get over your racist views people, I am sure if the company was Canadian there wouldn't be this issue. Come on people stop with the discrimination it makes you all look and sound like dogs!!

    • Anonymous says:

      You can build all the docks and harbours you want but it isn't going to bring the cruise ships back.

      Get real! The way the industry works is changing and will change dramatically when Cuba opens up.

      Build the dock by all means – in a few years it will be somewhere for the unemployed Caymanians to sit and discuss what went wrong.

      If this was investment in hotels, joint ventures with European tour operators or anything to increase stayover tourism it would be a positive move – this is something completely different.

      Incidentally, what happened to the total re-vamp at Owens Roberts Airport – couldn't the Chinese come in on that?

    • Anonymous says:

      What makes you think building a port will make the mega cruise ships come here. What makes you think their itineries aren't already laid out for the next 10 years.

      Look at the local business to be lost if this port is developed.

      Stay over tourism needs to be developed, we have huge amounts of condo space and hotel rooms that need to be filled better. When these big condos were built why were not regulations made to say 80% of the condo space had to be available for rental for 80% of the year or something similar… instead they sit their empty owned by corporations.

      If this goes ahead Cayman has destroyed itself, Financially, Environmentally and just ruined the Natural beauty of the island.

      Not to mention all the reef and shipwrecks that people won't get to see anymore. Poor Cheeseburger / Soto's reef ..  gone. Eden Rock swim throughs .. gone.

      Jobs for Caymanians at the port .. gone …

      lovely ironshore and beaches downtown, gone and replaced with concrete and trash.

      Where are the guarentees that cruiseships will come if it is built, where is the impact on the businesses affected or out of business because of it. So many tours ruined, restaurants not getting guests as they all eat on board for free.


      Cayman became popular for tourists because of how it was and what it had to offer naturally. Tourism has slowly disappeared as these natural offerings have been destroyed.

      Go back to basics, work on stay over tourism, fill all the rooms.

      Or build this port and destroy Georgetown and any chance this island has of pulling through this.

  28. Shepherd says:

    Well….Privitazation of government owned entities may not be such a bad thing…..

    It is what everyone is calling for and may be necessary to allow the Government and Country to sustain itself.  There are a lot of government owned entitiies that should be privitized, garbage collection for one example.  It will certainly free Government of losses and allow business owners to compete in this economy.

    However, still don't support the EE Hole or oil refinery!

  29. Right ya so says:


  30. The lone Haranguer says:

    moo goo guy pan anyone?

  31. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like payback for the British control of Hong Kong for 99 years…

  32. Anonymous says:

    Come on folks no one can seriously think it is a good thing for this country when a man with no related expertise or knowledge negotiates in private complicated contracts such as this. 

    How does this compare to the GLF deal?  I hope GLF comes out now and lets us all know what the visit to Venice was all about.  I recall after that visit the Premier decided to take this project away from established process and proper authorities and then he cancelled the contract with GLF.

    Should impropriety related to this ever surface I hope all will remember every member of the political party that was responsible.


    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanians forget easily, like the First Cayman Bank corruption scandal.

    • Anonymous says:

      7 thumbs down so far…bet it doesn't go more than the number of UDP MLA's that supported every move of their leader.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Ministers repeatedly stated last week, on the radio, that one of the benefits of going with the Chinese is that locals could participate (invest) in the port. Interestingly, they never stated how and the moderators never thought of asking how. Just goes to show one can even get a snow job in the Cayman Islands.

    • Anonymous says:

      It's the same sort of deal that was worked out with Shetty:  we were told how a whole medical tourism industry would grow up around Shetty's hospital, HOWEVER (if I understood correctly) Shetty was given exclusive right to operate as a medical tourism facility.

      So, the benefit to Cayman would be… ?

    • Married to a Caymanian says:

      Yes, I could not stop listening to the radio show last week either, it sounded like a broken record and the Ministers kept saying the koolaide line: "Would you rather have us start now (2 years into office without a brick being laid)  with no local investment or wait 15 months and allow local investment?"  Come ON!?!  This will NOT be "shares" like a new CUC sweetheart deal.  When the politicians say "local investment", they mean our local millionares and billionaires will get a cut, not Joe Public.

      So local cronies pockets get bigger and the construction contracts have been doled out.  Big deal, another contractor buys another mansion.  

      I still have not heard the answer from CITA or Govt as to what was the MINIMUM the cruise ship companies askedfor?  Was it a simple pier or did it have to be a shopping port mecca?  

    • Anonymous says:

      They went as far as saying "I don't know about you, but isn't waiting four months worth being able to get local participation? Four months? Now its November before anything is even signed. Local participation? Please define.


      • Anonymous says:

        don't forget that when mac got rid of glf he said it was because things would get done in a more timely manner! haha

        shame on the radio talk show 'hosts' who let their guests get away with spouting such drivel….

  34. Ubelievedat says:


    This man has gone freakin NUTS!!!!!!!


    • South Sounder says:

      Dear Ubelievedat

      I don't understand how it is that the Premier can be allowed to make inportant decisions like this, without the backing of Legislative Assembly.

      To a heartbroken ex-pat, who is watching Cayman slide like a house in a landslide towards oblivion,it seems strange that nobody has the balls to take this gentleman to task, have you all been threatened? or is it simply that you no longer care?


      • Ubelievedat says:

        Dear South Sounder,

        Thank you for caring enough to comment.

        I haven't been threatened but I probably will be after I attend the March on June 28th.

        I do care!……that's why I stood against the 2009 Constitutional breach.

        I invite you to stand with us, if you do sincerely care – I trust that you do as much as I !! 

        peace & love!!



    • Anonymous says:

      Actually it's been that time for the last year or so but we could minimize further damage.  I am pretty sure he is aware it is his last term and the really "freakin nuts" stuff is yet to happen.  He won't even address the public or oppositiion in a meaningful way such as open discussion.  Understandable as there are no plausible explanations of how any of this is good for anyone but him.


    • Anonymous says:

      The Mactator thinks he is accountable to no one. Perhaps its his definition of the post "Premier".