Port re-design to be costed by engineers

| 26/05/2016 | 81 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cruise ship passengers getting on a tender vessel in George Town Harbour, Grand Cayman

(CNS): The government will soon be selecting a team of engineering consultants to design and cost a change to the proposed cruise berthing facility to put the piers in much deeper water in an effort to mitigate the massive environmental damage that the project is likely to cause to the marine habit, including coral reefs in the George Town Harbour. Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell has said that once government has a better idea on how much and how viable it will be to change the current designs, it can move on to the next step.

Whether government will make any significant advance towards a request for proposals for the actual project before the next election, however, remains to be seen. The RFP process for the engineers does not close until next month and it will be unlikely that government will select an appropriate engineering firm and have them come up with new costed plans for the piers much before the year end.

The prequalification and RFP which was circulated last month is looking for civil engineering consultants experienced in marine engineering and design to look at the redesign and costings as well as prepare the tender documentation to enable contractors to bid for the work. The consultant will also be required to manage the prequalification and tender processes, undertake the tender evaluation and provide assistance with the contract award.

Once government selects the consultants, for which an announcement is expected this summer, even if the successful bidder is able to complete the work before the year-end, government will still need to work on a financing model, which will in turn need to be approved by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office before an RFP for the actual work could be circulated.

With less than ten months before Nomination Day, however, the government will be hard pressed to have tendered the actual construction project before the general election in May 2017.

Speaking at a press briefing on Tuesday to mark the signing of the airport development contract, Deputy Premier Kirkconnell said the government was still pressing ahead with the process of the cruise berthing project but “everything was a matter of timing”.

The minister said officials were still gathering information, and although it had a report that indicated it would be possible to push the piers out further to limit the environmental damage, it now needed to have the new designs drawn up that show what can or cannot be done and then have that properly costed.

The proposal for a cruise berthing facility remains controversial, not just because of the far reaching and potentially devastating impact on the environment, but also the impact the increase in cruise arrivals will have on the islands’ infrastructure and the cost to the public purse.

The price tag remains a mystery, but even before the re-design to push the piers further out to sea, government was looking at a bill in excess of CI$200 million. The change to the design is likely to make the project even costlier but the government has stated it will not be liable for the cost of the project. It still hopes that it can finance the development via significant increases in passenger fees that the cruise ships will willingly commit to without any ownership of the berthing facilities or access to upland retail development.

Although government claims it does have community-wide support for the cruise project and that it is necessary to protect the local cruise sector, a public consultation survey revealed three to one against the development. The majority of responses to the survey came directly from employees of Kirk Freeport and a handful of tour operators.

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Category: development, Local News

Comments (81)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    We’re getting closer to summer and ships already starting to thin out. Go ask all the Caymanian tour operators in a month how bad we need a dock. Just watch when people keep pushing and if this dock don’t get done you gonna hear a lot more crime headlines than the ones we hearing now.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Research “Harmony of the Seas” and see the future of regional cruise tourism.

    These monstrous water-bound amusements parks are packed to the gills with every; comfort, amenity, restaurant, bar, theatre, club, waterslide, running track, sport facility, gym etc and designed with the primary intention of keeping passengers entertained and digging into their pockets.

    Considering the limited time available and expense of each passenger – the attractiveness of disembarking to spend time and money on our shores (or any other for that matter) have never been dimmer.

    The industry is swiftly doing away with the ports or destination being the appeal and purpose of a cruise, and has instead embarked on making the ride the most attractive aspect of all.

    Therefore, it begs the question; Why are we bending over backwards to build a 1/4 BILLION DOLLAR port under these circumstances?

    One can see why the industry is hopeful of multiple ports that can accommodate these “floating Disneylands” as the 1,900 gallons of diesel required to propel or stabilise these ships aren’t cheap. I.e. It helps their bottom lines to be able to pull up and idle for a couple of hours.

    Add to the above the woeful reviews of passengers onboard “Harmony of the Seas” in respect to build quality, incomplete works, subpar catering and below average customer service – it may be wise to pump the brakes on this super-expensive decision. In other words, let’s wait until they figure out how to successfully build a huge boat before we attempt to build a huge port.

    Lastly, the state of the schools in which we are educating our children is absolutely disgusting and to bump the cruise berthing facility project to the top of the priority is list is a effin’ disgrace!

    – Whodatis

    • Anonymous says:


      I last viewed this post a few days ago and the vote reading was approx 20/3 however it is suddenly showing 22/39 now.

      Glad to see the “bots” are back and flattered that they took such an interest in my post …although they were a bit late on this occasion.

      Btw, having to resort to these tactics is so very, very sad. You should be embarrassed.

      Just saying…

      – Whodatis

  3. Sharkey says:

    I wonder if this is how they are thinking to take care of the dump and the dock at the same time , use the dump to fill the dock . BAD BAD IDEA.

    I don’t think that they should need consultant to tell them that it would cost alot more and the potential dangers becomes greater the deeper you go . My 4 year old grand daughter that told me she had 14 years experience would be able tell Mr KirkConnell he doesn’t need consultants .
    But we know that election is around the corner so we need something more to campaign on .

  4. Anonymous says:

    Did anyone notice the huge amount of objections to Dart removing a reef near his property on Seven Mile Beach ? NO? Because there was none. Where was the march against the destruction of this very large natural reef . Unfortunately there was none.Truth is the majority of persons against the Berthing facility are against it because they believe it will mostly benefit the Kirk Freeport family. If you want this to change just tell them Mr Dart wants it, and watch the opposition wither away. Yes there are some Caymanians against the project, but make no mistake this is an expat dominated and led group. Therwill always be some supposed conflict of interest in a small territory like ours , but does it mean that Caymmanians and Caymanian owned businesses should not get contracts . No. IF not Caymanians then who should get Government contracts. The problem is even if there is conflict of interest by an expat involved with a CIG contract, how will we ever know?

    • Anonymous says:

      Interesting point 5.04 but you are comparing breadfruit and peanuts. Plus an environmental study has been ordered, and at least in my view Dart is very environmentally aware ( look at his tree nursery). Nothing to do here until that report is released, although with the current bleaching event I personally am against any reef removal. Finally, Dart spends his own money, not the tax payers. So the public has a rightful interest in the cruise facility, whereas Darts development is between him, CIG and conservational issues.

    • Just the Facts Ma'am says:

      Except there has never been any proposal to remove any reef. But why let facts get in the way of a good rant?

      • Anonymous says:

        Did you expect any better from a Kirkbot?

      • Anonymous says:

        There is a proposal to remove the reef in front and south of the Sundowner condos in spite of environmental studies that recommend against it. I own there and know for a fact since many of us wrote the government. The Kimpton and Four Seasons want white sterile beaches, not reefs. If Dart were concerned about the environment, he wouldn’t be stripping the mangroves and the eco systems they provide. If there is another hurricane like Ivan in 2004, there will be nowhere for the water to go so it will cover parts of the island. I’ve been going to Cayman since 1985 and have seen the over development. They will bring in more third world workers while the Cayman people and schools suffer.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hmm 5:04pm – I can assure you that there was a big stink about the fact that Dart wants to remove sea rocks. I saw it and commented against it, where were you? Maybe because Dart seems to gets whatever he wants as long as somebody’s pocket is lined..
      And what makes you think Dart does NOT want that port built?? All the other jewelry stores are his. Of course he wants it. Dingdong.
      “Truth is the majority of persons against the Berthing facility are against it because they believe it will mostly benefit the Kirk Freeport family” Hahahaha WTH?

      I can also assure you that this is not an expat dominated group that is against the port. Wait. What did you say?

      This dock should never be built.
      Oh, never mind.

  5. D. Poser says:

    Did you ever wonder who tells all these bots what to write? I wonder if they get extra pay for their effort? Could it be that it is only a small number of bots making multiple comments?

  6. Anonymous says:

    hey kirkbots…why hasn’t the port started yet?

  7. Anonymous says:

    And meanwhile the cruise lines themselves are staying well out of this debate. I wonder why that is?

  8. Anonymous says:

    There is no sign of any abatement in cruise visitors at present so what’s the point of spending vast sums of money we don’t have, in a questionable effort to swamp the West Bay Beach with even more waddling big bellied Carnival cut price cruisesheep. All we will achieve is losing a large proportion of our valuable stayover visitors who have invested large sums of money in luxury condos to enjoy what was a pristine white sand beach.

    • Anonymous says:

      I totally agree with you. I’ve been going to Cayman since 1985 and don’t want any part of the over development. We spend 3 months a year there and buy everything from furniture to groceries to frequenting restaurants. What do the cruise people contribute? They buy t-shirt and a drink. That is why we won’t be coming back to Cayman. You are right about that.

  9. Foreign Devil says:

    Fix the dump and stop pandering to the Kirkconnell’s they are rich enough already. Fix the stinking dump Alden!

    • Anonymous says:

      Foreign Devil, Dart owns more duty free stores than the Kirkconnells, so why are you only against the Kirkconnells making some money.

  10. One more time says:

    Fix the damn dump

    • Anonymous says:

      If we took everything from the dump and threw it in the sea off the dock then the tourist could walk ashore from the ships without having to extend the dock. Your suggestion is worthy of recommendation.

    • Anonymous says:

      First you have to fix the NIMBYS followed by politictaly motivated objectors, then progress can be made.

      • yaddayaddayadda says:

        Kettle, this is pot. Please say hello. Pot, this is kettle. Now please shake hands and in the interests of a semblance of sanity realize that you have both been charred by the very same fire. The reality is that it is asinine and ludicrous and wholly unproductive for those who first and foremost want the dump to be moved out of their general vicinity to label those in other districts as “nimbys” when it is they themselves who are the ultimate example of what being a nimby is, nonetheless after the fact. Unless and until a lot of fundamental change in the way the Cayman Islands is administered is made then none of these burgeoning issues will find real solutions to the myriad vortex of issues and problems which we collectively face. The least of which is certainly not an institutionalized corruption at the highest of administrative and private sector levels. What was termed as so called “progress” coupled with a purposeful disregard of forethought all in the interests of unfettered and oligarchial greed and widespread blindness to the future consequence of a gold rush mentality is exactly which has created the issue, ie the dump, in the first place. Have a nice day pot.

  11. Sharkey says:

    Campaign season is around the corner . We need cruise ship berthing consultant , fun raising dinners, airport contact signed , budget spending plan under control .

  12. Anonymous says:

    Glad to see the PPM gets things done. Great job on the airport, getting our finances under control, and now pushing forward with the port to save our jobs and create more jobs.

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL…..time will tell

      • Anonymous says:

        Port aint happening….it is a fairy tail project! this is just dumping more of the peoples money in the ocean. A good newspaper articles would be an FOI request as to how many reports,man hours and most of all money has went into this fairy tail.

        I sat down the other day and thought about what they CI Government should do …they should start a wealth fund that pay citizens and legal residence a top up on their salary for working and a general check as a whole each year.

        No more cuts to the electricity bill or gas bill because that benefits big consumers more than the average man on the street. Would be interesting how much money was wasted on the various designs. I would venture to say about $1000.00 per citizen/resident thus far. That would bring us to like $3.0 million and we are likely far past that now.

        Anyways, this project above has about as much prospect as the port project. The most environmentally friendliest option I can see is to start reclaiming another 5-10 feet by dumping all these reports in Hog Style Bay.

        A huge waste of massive scale

    • Anonymous says:

      Like Cayman Airways? Like the Turtle farm? Like the health bill due? Like(well just about everything they have done in the past?)The only thing CIG has done well is make a small fortune out of a huge one.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hotels mainly employ work permit holders. Hotels are majority owned by foreign corporations so all profits leave Cayman.

    Cruise is the majority Caymanian sector of tourism. Wake up Cayman.

    • Jotnar says:

      “Hotels are majority owned by foreign corporations so all profits leave Cayman@

      Apart of course from the tourist tax, and the import duty on everything the tourists that stay there eat and drink whilst here, inside the hotel or not, the cars they rent, and the attractions they visit, the money paid to CUC for the light and AC for the hotels, and even the airport tax they pay …but hey, why let facts and the massive difference in local spend between a stay over tourist and a cruise day tripper get in the way of your anti foreigner bigotry.

      • Anonymous says:

        you are correct however caymanians do not benefit directly as much as they do with cruise.

        • Anonymous says:

          Only because they lack the training or will to do relevant business. After all, any local business has to be owned 60% by a Caymanian, so with all the deck stacked in Caymanians favour, can you explain your comment 6.11?

      • Anonymous says:

        You can’t argue with ignorance and win. Not here where the majority rules. Better to just tell them how incredibly smart they are and watch as they fail yet again.

    • Anonymous says:

      There they are, Kirkbots back! Missed you guys. Not much, but missed you!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Most of Cayman wants the pier.
    Financial companies are fleeing Cayman left right and center.
    Cayman will be in massive problems if we see cruise ships starting to flee too.
    Only about 200 people max showed up to their “big” protest and most of them were foreigners and definitely not voters.
    Stop trying to fool Cayman into protecting the tender boat monopoly that is disguised as divers and environmentalists.

    • Anonymous says:

      No dear chap. Most people working for the kirks want it. No one else does. Which is why they won’t do a referendum. If it goes ahead PPM will be unelectable which is why they dragging their feet. The party or people who say they will had a referendum over doing this or fixing the dump will win

    • Anonymous says:

      I was there and I’m a Caymanian that votes, just not for anyone supporting this pier

    • Grover Cleveland says:

      MOST of Cayman DOES NOT want the pier! You are one of the bots mentioned above.

    • SSM345 says:

      Err no Anonymous 9:41, we do not want the Pier, the Kirkonnells and Hamaty plus a few Taxi Drivers / Boat Operators want this project. If you cannot understand that wrecking the very reason why people come here is the most idiotic proposal of all time then perhaps you should also campaign for a Mental Institute and be the first patient.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Moses and Alden plan to mortgage Cayman’s future. If they succeed it will be paid by us and our children’s children

    • Anonymous says:

      That was Mac’s plan with the Chinese. PPM are at least trying to get the cruise companies to either pay for or bear a heavy share of the cost….and all without being paid heavy commissions.

  16. Anonymous says:

    If there’s a way to burn through surplus you can rest assured the PPM will find it. What a waste of money!

    • Anonymous says:

      The PPM created the surplus, as well as lowered the duty on a lot of things. How soon we forget what it was like 4 years ago

      • The Parliamentarian says:

        For all you party zealots: Both parties are about the same. It’s that way with all democracies. ” Vote for me! Vote for me! I’ll give you something!!”

  17. Anonymous says:

    How does CNS know that the majority of supporters came from Kirk Freeport anymore than it knows the majority of people opposed came from Sunset House and tender operators?
    Fact is, cruise tourism accounts for nearly $200,000,000 per year in revenue, over 20% of the country’s GDP. If you think the country can simply walk away from that kind of revenue stream and make it up somewhere else, you are sorely mistaken. You don’t have to be a tour operator or directly involved in cruise tourism, everyone benefits directly or indirectly from it.

    CNS: First of all, take note of what the article actually says: “The majority of responses to the survey came directly from employees of Kirk Freeport and a handful of tour operators.” Then read this: Kirk Freeport dominates limited pier support

    • Tenderbot SS1 says:

      Kirkbots on the attack! LOL

      • Anonymous says:

        Being assisted by CNS with ill informed reporting like”Massive environmental damage”…
        Take a chunk of coral to any supermarket and see if they will exchange it for a bag of groceries.

        • Anonymous says:

          Ah…another kirk environmental expert. Amazing how many there are. And I don’t think CNS needs any assistance from you to show the truth. Even the government study shows “uncertain” damage, hence this revisit on where to do it. Not to worry, they will run out of time and this wont get done. You can go back to sleep now.

        • Anonymous says:

          Well, it sure won’t be a Kirkconell grocery store….that’s for sure.

        • Grover Cleveland says:

          You aren’t even a good troll, Anon 8:12!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Exactly! Here’s an idea! Let’s build a port to accommodate the disembarkation of cruise-ship passengers so they can come ashore and enjoy the smell of our stinking, unhealthy, stinky, fly-manufacturing, stinkeh mountain of garbage, that they can see from their cruise-ship windows as they pull into port.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Ah boy, more consultants. Then more consultants are going to be needed after that for the financing model. Then more consultants are going to be needed again before they send it to the FCO. Then more consultants are going to be needed……

    Can the Cayman people please wake up and see where this pie in the sky is going?

  20. BT voter says:

    What a disgrace. PPM can allocate millions for unnecessary projects like GT port to help the business interests of friends and family but there is no priority given to public education system and resources required in schools like Savannah, BT, EE primary schools.

    What is the point bragging about a surplus while Caymanian kids struggle and education standards are poor?

  21. ENQUIRER says:

    Why is this project the priority for Moses K, his family and PPM?

    How did this become a bigger priority for the PPM in comparison to fixing the GT dump that is a ticking bomb?

    • Anonymous says:

      Gee let me see its one of the financial pillars of the country and a lot of people get paid from it. my problem has always been why did they take so long to move on anything.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because Min. Kirkonel is the Minister for Tourism & he’s doing his job. He is not the Minister for Dumps and so is not doing that job.

      PS – I don’t support the port.

  22. Anonymous says:

    The conflicts of interests associated with the project should result in charges under the Anti-Corruption Law for several public officers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Give it a rest dude. If there were any real conflict of interest it would have been proven by now. The fact is there is none.

      • Jotnar says:

        Because here in Cayman we ruthlessly pursue conflict of interest. We ferret it out and expose it. Like we did with Canover Watson – after he crossed the Kirkconnells and got himself involved in the FIFA investigation.

      • SOPHOCLES says:

        Important legislation to consider when reviewing the intent, conduct and decisions by the Minister of Tourism, Ministry of Tourism, Port Authority Board of Directors and all Public Officers associated with the cruise berthing facility process.

        *Sec 19 (3) covers persons who do not understand conflicts of interests and who may directly or indirectly influence the decision making process.

        Anti-Corruption Law 2014 Revision

        Conflicts of Interests – Section 19


        (a) a government entity of which a public officer or a member of the Legislative Assembly is a member, director or employee, proposes to deal with a company, partnership or other undertaking in which-
        (i) the public officer;
        (ii) the member of the Legislative Assembly; or
        (iii) a member of the family or an associate of either the public officer or member of the Legislative Assembly, has a direct or indirect interest; and
        (b) the public officer, the member of the Legislative Assembly, the member of the family or the associate holds more than ten per cent of the total issued share capital or of the total equity participation in such company, partnership or other undertaking,
        the public officer or the member of the Legislative Assembly shall forthwith disclose, in writing, to that government entity the nature of such interest.

        (2) Where-

        (a) a public officer;
        (b) a member of the Legislative Assembly; or
        (c) a member of the family or an associate of either the public officer
        or the member of the Legislative Assembly,
        has a personal interest in a decision which a government entity, of which the public officer or the member of the Legislative Assembly is a member, director or employee, is to take, that public officer or member of the Legislative Assembly shall forthwith disclose, in writing, to the government entity the nature of that personal interest.

        (3) A public officer or member of the Legislative Assembly who fails to disclose an interest in accordance with subsection (1) or (2) and who votes or otherwise takes part in proceedings of the government entity relating to such interest commits an offence and is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term of five years.

      • Tim Tibbetts says:

        10:24 That is the most asinine comment I have ever seen on CNS!

    • Anonymous says:

      if you want to talk about a conflict of interest maybe we should say it this way. The cayman islands people put the PPM in the house knowing full well that the port was a major part of their plans. that means that most of cayman supports the port. see no conflict of interest they are doing what they said they would do and for which they were supported.

  23. SKEPTICAL says:

    Glad to see we finally know who were, as it appears, the minority supporters of the plan, and that CIG has accepted that. And the farther you go out into deeper water, the more vulnerable the operation would become to bad weather during construction, in both the Winter “Norther” season, and the six months of the hurricane season.

  24. Anonymous says:

    This will be fun, after a short absence let’s see how many Kirkbots resurface! Airport yes, port no!

    • Anonymous says:

      Kirkbots think the thumbs up or thumbs down is scientific polling. ROFLOL

      • Anonymous says:

        anon no it is not scientific but you must really feel like an idiot as the PPM had this on their agenda and the people voted them in. It is not kirkbots it is the minority stupid bots like yourself. I say but this to a referendum and shut everyone up.

        • Anonymous says:

          5.33 go ahead and prove your claim. Oh you can’t, that’s right. If there was a referendum that the pro cruise lobby won, you could silence us all efficiently with fact. However for reasons totally unclear and despite the hullabaloo CIG won’t do that because they know they will lose. So all the pro cruise terminal supporters can do is manipulate forums like this with your kirkbots. It is so obvious it is laughable. Calling other people idiots is no validation of your views and generally a sign of weakness. If you think people don’t see through your frankly sordid actions you need to go get an education. You do your own cause more harm than good.

  25. Anonymous says:

    stuck at square one…..thanks ppm…

  26. Anonymous says:

    CIG will also need to hire a full submarine geological survey with drilling to see if and where the target area can support the engineering envisioned without catastrophic structural failure.

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