Bidders on port prequalified, premier tells LA

| 30/10/2017 | 83 Comments

(CNS): Bidders interested in constructing the controversial and costly cruise berthing facility in George Town have been prequalified, the premier revealed Friday, but gave away no details of which firms are involved. He also revealed that talks with the cruise lines over their committment are not finished. When he delivered the Budget Policy Statement, Alden McLaughlin said his government was still committed to the project and cash has been allocated “to progress the work on the George Town cruise and cargo port project” in the 2018/19 budget.

And in the budget address, Finance Minister Roy McTaggart revealed that a total of $3 million has been set aside to progress the project over the next two years — $1.8 million in 2018 and $1.2 million in 2019.

McLaughlin said that while prequalification is complete, “the negotiations with cruise lines are in the final stages”, but said no more about the cruise lines and their support of the costly development. 

“Coral recruitment has been completed and an application submitted to the Department of Environment for trial relocation,” the premier stated. Coral recruitment is the process by which coral larvae attach and establish themselves to the reef.

The plan to relocate the coral is fraught with challenges and is one of a number of factors fuelling the controversy surrounding the still unpopular cruise port project, which many believe is too expensive and offers little benefit to the majority of local people. But although the results of the original public consultation were 3 to 1 against it, government is pressing ahead with the plan. McLaughlin said the bid documents are being finalised, with the next procurement stage in November.

The project includes an enlarged cargo port, which McLaughlin said is “key to our ongoing economic development and will give us the ability to accept larger ships, reducing shipping costs and consequently reducing the cost of goods bought locally”.

He said, “The Port Authority has also received considerable interest from shipping companies that not only want to bring their larger ships here, but have indicated that Grand Cayman could serve as a transshipment port for perishable cargo out of Central America. The economic potential for George Town to serve as a transshipment port is certainly welcomed and will be pursued.”

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Category: Government oversight, Marine Environment, Politics, Science & Nature

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  1. Anonymous says:

    If we don’t get this dock soon we are going to be the island that time forgot and the only jobs left are for those foreigners in the big finance positions. All the little caymanians that can’t afford to go off island for college are going to be push d to poverty.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Diversifying, or expanding, the economy is a sensible strategy. I see a possible bottleneck and some areas of friction that could result from the Port build. First let’s review the bottleneck potential. A new 5 star resort to be built at Pageant Beach. A possible other 5 star resort to be constructed by the Dart Group. A continued inching up of the stay over clientele on island who will arrive with certain expectations of experience and services. How will the increased cruise passengers mix with this new upper class of tourists? Is their enough public beach to satisfy the number of cruise visitors? How will traffic be impacted? How does that impact the experience of stay over guests?

    What happens at Sting Ray City- how many more visitors can it withstand? Or put another way, do we understand the carrying capacity of the North Sound in general for snorkelling, Sting Ray city and the boat traffic?

    The Cruise business served an important role after 9/11 when Americans quit flying and again post Ivan. They did bring visitors and $’s at a time when stay over guests waned.

    How are other “high end” islands balancing the cruise and stay over guests? Are there lessons to be learned? I am not convinced that “high end” Cayman stay over visitors are compatible with ‘cruise’ passengers. Whether cruise passengers deserve a derogatory reference or not, perceptions tell a lot.

    It feels like another crossroads for Cayman. Tourism is a fickle industry and guests can be fickle. Serious work on the management of the projected growth in both streams of the tourism industry is vital.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Only in Cayman would a dock be called “controversial”… Where a “bridge” and “roads” are also “controversial”.

    Ridiculous, if it wasn’t for people like Dart, this place would still be in the stone ages with the economy and standard of living of Turks and Caicos at best.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Concentrate on air arivals and charge a premium to cruise passengers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not sure what the port fees and taxes are there but on a typical 3 port 7 day cruise passengers each pay about $100 so let’s be conservative and say $30 for Georgetown. You can easily have 12,000 passengers on a single day. So that is $360,000 for letting the passengers come spend money in your country. You aren’t developing anywhere near that revenue on airline departure taxes.

  5. GTFJD says:

    Does anyone really believe that this is not a done deal, and Dart have already sewn this one up? Likely in exchange for the promise of some crappy new road elsewhere.

    If so, I have a bridge in Manhattan you might be interested in.

  6. Veritas says:

    Most of the cruiseships calling here are Carnival who specialise in cheap cruises for cheap passengers.They are as likely to fund the new piers as they would offer free cruises to all born Caymanians.

  7. West bay Premier says:

    I think that the Taxpayers should demand some answers about what this 3 million dollars would be spent on except saying cruise ship dock . I believe that this is going to be another 3 million dollars of more studies done in the name of cruise ship dock . Maybe he will change the name of study to research . But Mr McLaughlin shouldn’t be allowed to stay tight lip about THIS 3 million after spending so many millions of dollars and no cruise ship dock yet . Pepole it’s time to hold your Government accountable .

  8. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like Big Mac will get his monster dock after all. Can’t you all see that he is running this show. Little Mac is skipping along with him because all he cares about is being Premier for two terms. He don’t even about his legacy. Is there any way we can impeach them both?

  9. Anonymous says:

    for the last 15 years we have heard that we need the port or cruises will stop coming….
    its now 2017 and we have record cruise ship arrivals…..???
    btw cns….its clear that kirkbots are influencing this discussion on the these comments…..

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not that they will stop coming, it’s the Genesis class ships can’t come unless they have a dock. Too many people to in load and load back onboard via Tenders. That the issue as well as insurances for these large vessels.

  10. Nemo says:

    Saw a bunch of the cheap tourists walking all the way to town and traffic backed up for miles. I guess this will be the dream, if we build it they will come – baloney! Waste of our money on a stupid idea.

    • Hard truth says:

      A lot of tourists just get off at ports and don’t take buses/taxis. I saw these same tourists walking from Spotts and they probably didn’t realize there was no where around for them to go to. Its a such a disgrace when tourists have to be let off in Spotts, it sends them away with a terrible taste of Cayman. THIS is why we need a better system in town and the cruise facility will help with that!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Don’t waste any money relocating the coral. There is hardly any in the port area anyway. Just get the dock done and move on.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t you know that destroying this coral will make the polar icecaps melt and set our children of fire before they can drown? Where is your empathy?

  12. Anonymous says:

    If we don’t get the dock you can kiss George Town and all the REAL Caymanan jobs good bye!

  13. Anonymous says:

    The numbers of cruise arrivals look ok but Cayman is mostly getting the cheapo cruises. All the really expensive ones with the best customers are on those new Oasis size ships. We don’t get any of those and that is where the real money is. Not to mention only non caymanians benefit from the hotels, all the imported labor.
    Just look Kimpton brought 600 jobs they say and hardly any to Caymanians!

    • Cheese Face says:

      Did many Caymanians apply? Turn up for interviews dressed appropriately? Were they willing to take entry level positions if they had no qualifications or experience?

      I’m sure some did, but how many? 600?

    • Anonymous says:

      The high end liners like Seabourne, Radisson Seven Seas, The World, etc came once many years ago, and won’t be back since it was clear their experience quality was not valued. Arrivals are a numbers game for CIG revenue/spending, they are addicts without any Standards in Public Life constraints.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, you are wrong. The Oasis class ships carry high volumes, but are not the really expensive cruises. Those ones come now, as they have done for many years, as they are small ships that usually carry less than 1,200 passengers. These ultra-luxury ships don’t carry the numbers of people that are needed by all the t-shirt stores that have popped up to cater for the high numbers of cheap people. The Viking Sky, scheduled to come in several times in the coming weeks, carries 930 passengers, is a brand new ship and costs at least 6 times what a similar trip on the Allure of the Seas, for example. But do you think that those passengers want to be surrounded by tens of thousands of others? So, if anything, the mass market ships the dock would cater to run the risk of driving the ultra luxury ships away.

  14. Diogenes says:

    If the PPM continues along the path of ignoring the will of the people, the CDP won’t have to worry about campaigning for the next election because they will be voted in, in a landslide. The fact that this initiative wasn’t included on the 2017 Ballot serves to show that the PPM (and now the PPM led coalition) doesn’t give a damn what the voting public thinks. They will push it through with the lies that it will lower the cost of living by increasing the size of the cargo port even though anyone with sense can see that the government are the ones who are partially responsible for the relatively high cost of living due to the duties imposed to collect revenue on basically anything that comes into the islands


  15. Grand Cayman could serve as a transshipment port for perishable cargo out of Central America.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dubious. Why would a ship carrying perishables lengthen their travel time by stopping here?

      You would make a good politician with those kind of hair brained ideas.

    • Anonymous says:

      Square groupers don’t require ice, and only perish when lost at sea. We need Standards in Public Life Bill passed and an end to the dirty backroom stuff that we refuse to acknowledge has been going on for decades. Sadly, it is up to apathetic voters to petition for a basic code of conduct.

  16. Caymanian Patriot says:

    One of the worst ideas by far. Greed and no sense.

  17. The Seer says:

    Yes! Please just let it go. Use all that money to get real tourists coming to the Cayman Islands……… the ones who stay for a week or more and leave a lot of income for Caymanians.

  18. Anonymous says:

    still at square one….nice one ppm!

  19. Anonymous says:

    No one cares.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Cayman is missing out on all the big ships with better tourists this year. We could have had a major boom with the eastern islands badly damaged but the best ships will be sailing right by every day again.

    • Anonymous says:

      ” Big ships, better tourists?” really? The economic reason for larger ships is that they are per tourist head cheaper to run, making them cheaper for the punters. The classy passengers are on the smaller, exclusive ships. Kirkbot alert.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, there will be 70 more cruise ship stops and an extra 250,000 passengers will disembark this season.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes please note. We don’t have a dock and they still chose to come here. It’s not about the dock folks.

    • Anonymous says:

      12:08 and 12:13 are paid trolls.

    • The Front Desk says:

      Baloney! You don’t know squat! We already have an increase in stay-overs because of the damage to the other vacation spots.

    • Anonymous says:

      Per Cayman Compass, we’ll be getting 250,000 extra arrivals due to hurricane damage in the eastern Caribbean.

      Please do calm down and stop fear mongering.

      P.S. Nice try though 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      We’re only getting the extra cheap ships

      • Anonymous says:

        CIG doesn’t care about passenger quality or onshore spend. They can’t see beyond maximum headcount to offset the commercial folly of their tender subsidy commitments.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Stayover Tourists mainly benefit the hotels that are owned by foreign corporations. Most of the workers in hotels and restaurants are all expat and not local.
    The main tourists that benefit locals are the cruise tourists.

    • Anonymous says:

      12.08 Complete and utter crap. I walk around those shops at the weekend..mostly foreigners working in them. As for hotels, lets look..Oh yes Kimpton and Ritz owned by a Caymanian, Beach suites when it reopens too. Marriot, I have no idea except the management company is foreign, probably not the building ownership. So it would appear, based on fact (which is severely lacking in your post) that you have not got a clue what you are talking about. Are we back to paid kirkbots again?

    • Puddenhed says:

      If you don’t stop lying, 12:08pm, all your children will be born naked!

    • Charles Darwin says:

      Isn’t there a room “tax” on the hotels, therefore benefitting everyone in the country?

    • Anonymous says:

      Who do you think owns downtown? Beside a VERY small concentration of wealthy Caymanian families it’s owned mostly by foreigners too!

      • Anonymous says:

        Name them. I just see Kirk, Dart, because as far as I know you want a business down there, it better have at least 60% Cayman ownership…you guys are like Russians, just writing any old crap to serve a purpose and based on no facts.

    • Anonymous says:

      What are you putting in those coconuts you are selling? Whatever it is, go easy on it.

  22. Anonymous says:

    from the Office of the Auditor General:
    …government routinely does not account for …how much each project will cost, and does not conduct proper analyses on developments before beginning them…
    Even where key project documents had been approved by Cabinet and expenditure could be incurred, it was difficult to identify whether estimated costs had been factored into budget documents,” the AG report stated.
    ..several business cases are conducted before and during the procurement stage of a given project, and that a final business case should be completed and made public before any contract is signed.

    • Anonymous says:

      This cruise pier project is no different and is another project that the AG will be writing about expressing concerns. Typical Alden and PPM they never learn.

  23. Kadafe says:

    Thank you for this joke today, i truly needed a good laugh! Does the premier even believe his own words? Or think before he says them? He said and I quote, ”The project includes an enlarged cargo port, which McLaughlin said is “key to our ongoing economic development and will give us the ability to accept larger ships, reducing shipping costs and consequently reducing the cost of goods bought locally”. Lets think about that for a second, can the new cargo port reduce shipping costs by being able to accept larger ships? Possibly… Will that savings be passed over to the consumer in the form of lower costing goods? Highly unlikely! Get ready to hear that groceries are bought in bulk at today’s prices for at least 3 years in advance like how they buy fuel! Lol!

    • Anonymous says:

      Does anyone out there knows of any research by the port, importers including the supermarkets that the new port will reduce the cost of living? Is there anyone out there who thinks the Premier knows this for sure? If the answer is no how did the Premier come up with that statement? Also is there anyone out there stupid enough to believe his off the cuff statement without any kind of research?

    • Anonymous says:

      Not many realize how many ships bypass our port due to lack of depth, we have to use a smaller class of ship due to the lack of depth at our port. Instead of direct shipments we have to use the Port in Kingston and Miami to transship via smaller vessels. Increases in costs of everything.

      • Kadafe says:

        I understand that however my question remains the same, do you really believe that any savings on shipping costs if any will truly be passed on to the consumers? Do you really believe that? And did you know just how many food items are duty free? The prices on the shelves would make it appear that this is not the case. So you tell me, you think the prices in the supermarket will go down due to a new dock?

      • Anonymous says:

        LOL!! Who are you trying to kid??? You don’t even know how deep our port is?? Hahahaha! Do your research Bub.

        • Anonymous says:

          Doesn’t matter how deep or how big the piers, if we want to be a transshipment port, it needs to operate 24/7 and the cruise lines will not share a dock with an active port – too much liability. The rhetoric about larger cargo ships lowering prices will only happen when we consume more – ie have a much larger population. Right now the ships are rarely close to full except in the busy holiday period where they actually jack up the rates as a “seasonal increase”. Think it through before going off half cocked…

      • Anonymous says:

        The tune may change, but this is all about finding a plausible excuse to build a pier and end the loosing cruise tender subsidy. A product of dumb kleptocrats compounding errors and unhonored promises over last decade and lying about it. Pride, ego, and stupidity. We need a rigorous Standards in Public Life Bill to be passed ASAP to end the BS and corruption that underpins this whole caper, and others…

  24. Anonymous says:

    Aaaaand the winner is DECCO! No surprise there zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    • Anonymous says:

      I also heard that Decco will be completing the airport remodel. Is there any truth to that? If so we will sure owe Decco every penny or cent earned by every person working into infinity on these Cayman Islands. Dump,, port, airport, tunnels, seabed, etc.”………..etc….. saycit ain’t so.!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Ssshhhhhh 11.57. That’s next weeks headline. No spoilers please.

    • Anonymous says:

      If it is we can just fire all the politicians, as Dart will not need them, and give Dart the keys to his kingdom.

    • Anonymous says:

      We can only pray to the good Lord above that this is indeed the case.

  25. Anonymous says:

    If Cayman wants to compete with other Caribbean islands regarding cruise visitors, this cruise port is a must. It’s imperative that this construction is in place especially when receiving the elderly or infirm tourist off these ships. These people cannot physically cope with ship tenders. If this attitude of not wanting this facility by some residents carries on, ships will bypass Cayman. There is a terrific amount of passengers arriving on your dockside at one time right into the shopping area of Cayman. Why cut your nose off to spite your face! Granted, it is not a cheap construction, but one must speculate to accumulate. Cayman has enough problems with the current escalating crime without putting more obstacles in the way of revenue.

    • Anonymous says:

      “One must speculate to accumulate”. That is as useful a proverb as “one must risk to fail.” This discussion is about the numbers. So far the numbers Govt. has shown do not add up. So show us the numbers that do and then we’ll talk. (Una remember the original business case presented a few years ago at the Red Bay Hall? And no published revised business cases since? That first business case said ‘if scenerio X is not met, then walk away and don’t waste your money’.)

    • Anonymous says:

      You mean cut off your nose to spite the few fat feeding faces as opposed to the people of Cayman as a whole?

    • Anonymous says:

      The 18 member FCCA Cruise lines have been repeatedly fined by DOJ for so-called violations of the American Disabilities Act. These token fines are so laughably inconsequential (ie. ranging $100-250k for years of violations) that the liners have no punitive disincentive to build or retrofit cabin doors to allow passage of a standard wheelchair. Even new builds are not up to code. So tell us again how the elderly and infirm will generate millions for the Cayman Islands…maybe the wheeltrans bus operators (that don’t exist either) could move them around to all of our handicapped-friendly attractions?!? Until the DOJ starts delivering consequential fines to this industry, the status quo reigns and accessibility issues, sadly, remain moot.

    • The Seer says:

      How many times must it be said!……….. We don’t need no stinkin’ monster docks! It’s just millions of dollars thrown away (or perhaps into certain people’s pockets). Dump De Damn Dock!

    • wawa says:

      when no tourist ships are in George town it is one depressing place, the merchants would go bankrupt in one month if no ships came here,
      make the dock and una stop una foolishnes hit a han a hog a hairs quetta mata nay.

  26. Anonymous says:

    “The project includes an enlarged cargo port” – final nail in the downtown coffin.
    The night noise of the trucks hauling shipping containers kills downtown for ANY evening activities. Sitting on the deck at Breezes was miserable with the continual noise of back and forth trucking. Downtown should be alive at night but they struggle because no one cares.
    I feel for you Cayman. Allowing others to make big decisions for you is NOT the way to go. The government is not historically for Cayman, just for their own agendas. Always.
    No visions outside the box. Not vision full stop! Keep letting outsiders make those choices, eh!
    Just keep throwing that $$ down Darts pants. Heaven knows he needs it.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wasn’t aware Alden was an ‘outsider’ where is he from??

    • Anonymous says:

      The port was there before Breezes.

      • Anonymous says:

        Duh. You miss the point Doofus.
        Downtown should be a vibrant living place in the evenings. But Dart had plans from the get go to put a stop to that. That’s why he built Camana City. He’s only interested in all of his jewellery stores (Island Company) during the day, for the cruise shippers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dredge a channel in North Sound (starting at Harbour House, going first past GTYC, connecting Camana Bay, Ritz, and Governors Harbour out past the reef), make a new 365 day a year cargo dock in the Industrial area close to Progressive. Trucks never venture into downtown.

      And a chance for private land owners to build a Super Yacht marina. You know who knows a thing or two about the big boats, not sure if he still owns that 220′ bullet proof one. He might have some motivation to put in something spectacular beside the landfill.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is a great idea. My only concern would be the potential impact on stingray city.

        • Anonymous says:

          Stingray city was formed because of the small channel behind it. If the channel went from deep-stingray city to morgans harbour, there would be no negative impact.

  27. SSM345 says:

    The PPM should know by now they cannot handle big projects so should stay away form them; and someone needs to remind Alden and his cohorts of their favorite campaign word; transparency. They going sink this country or sell the final piece of he jigsaw to DART if they go ahead with this. Do they even know where Falmouth is?

  28. Ambassador of Absurdistan says:

    Just Another Day in Absurdistan

  29. Anonymous says:

    Selling out Cayman and the environment well done mr. premier we see you for what you really are now.

  30. New Caymanian says:

    It is disgraceful that Alden McLaughlin and Moses Kirkconnell are prepared to spend millions on relocating coral while public schools, the teachers and students lack basic resources everyday.This is a sick joke and tells you all you need to know about their priorities as leaders and character as politicians.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Just let it go for crying out loud…total waste of money…focus efforts on stay over tourism

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