Cruise fees will fund project, says CIG

| 29/07/2019 | 132 Comments
Cayman News Service
Cruise port facility plans revealed 29 July, artist’s rendition (click to enlarge)

(CNS): Government began answering some questions about the cruise berthing project on Monday, following revelations on Friday that the Verdant Isle group had won the bid for the controversial development. The premier, tourism minister and other government officials insisted that the financing for the $200 million dock will be paid for from existing fees that currently cover the tender service, with the public purse giving up only $2 per head.

Cayman News Service
Cruise and cargo dock plan described by the government as ‘fake news’ (click to enlarge)

Speaking at a press conference, the government unveiled a picture of what the piers will look like when complete, which looked very similar to the one that it had described as ‘fake news’ when it was first circulated in the public domain earlier this year. As well as presenting the new design, which Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell claims is not only in deeper water but has a smaller footprint that the original plans, there was a brief explanation of the financing model.

The government has said that Verdant Isle will be funding the project alongside the two cruise lines in their consortium, with financing by CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank. Although government had said that Disney and MSN Cruises were also involved in the financing, apparently this is no longer the case. Those two cruise lines now are simply committed to continuing to send ships to the destination and paying the taxes, which will ultimately pay back Verdant Isle.

It is estimated that a minimum of around two million passengers annually will be needed to ensure that the consortium is paid back in full for the investment and is able to earn a return over and above the estimated $200 million costs over the 25-year period that it will be recouping the passenger taxes. However, government expects passenger numbers to grow to much more than two million, and as it does the $2 it is giving up per passenger will easily be covered by the increase in numbers.

According to a presentation shown by the tourism minstry chief officer, Stran Bodden, the bulk of the cash will come from the remaining fees, which are currently paid to the local companies that tender the passengers from the anchored ships.

The government insisted that there will be no upland development associated with the project aside from the actual terminal, which will replace the current Royal Watler Terminal.

Minister Kirkconnell said that one of the hardest parts of the negotiations had been to make it clear that the government would not allow any shopping malls between the ship and George Town (the upland development). He said the current Royal Watler tenants have been guaranteed the same square footage, though there appears to be no guarantees about rents at the new facility. But Kirkconnell pointed to the concessions process at the new airport as a potential model for local retailers to gain space in the new terminal, even though that process was widely criticised.

The tourism minister also spoke about the work that will be created as a result of the project, but he was till vague about what exactly the new 900 jobs will be. He said there would be hundreds of construction jobs generated by McAlpine, the local contractor leading the Verdant Isle group, during the building phase, which is expected to take at least two and a half years. However, the other jobs, he said, would result from the need for more staff in the retail stores, bars and restaurants, more taxi and bus drivers, as well as what he described as entrepreneurial opportunities for local people to service the sector.

Meanwhile, the project manager, Peter Granger, said that the project was going to be split into nine phases and at no time would the cargo operations be impacted, even while the enhancement work to that area was underway. He said the tendering process will continue throughout the construction and work to create a new pier for those operations will be one of the first phases, as there will need to be a tender pier, especially in high season.

The proposed piers can accommodate just four ships but in the peak winter season Cayman could welcome as many as seven ships to port and will still need, at the very least, seasonal tendering service for those ships not able to berth.

During the conference the premier did address the referendum briefly and gave mixed messages on the government’s position as well as very misleading information about the numbers submitted to the Elections Office that were not registered voters. (See: Premier sends mixed message on port vote)

Despite the major controversies and the increasing opposition to this project, the premier insisted that the majority of people in Cayman support it, not just for the cruise berthing but also enhancing the cargo area. In his statement he said that has been the case for decades.

“Now that we are in a position to provide the information we promised, I have no doubt that even should we go to a referendum that it will be won overwhelmingly in favour of us completing the project and placing our islands in the best possible position to maintain and grow an important part of our economy,” he said.

See the premier’s statement and other relevant documents in the CNS Library

See the full conference below on CIGTV starting at 35:25

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Category: development, Local News, Politics

Comments (132)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Rick Chalker July 30, 2019 at 8:00 pm comment on Compass’s “The issue explained: What gov’t has said about the port deal” has asked VERY GOOD questions that had not been raised before (at least I’m not aware). I recommend you read it.
    Love his comparison of a 50 story, millionaires tower to a “freaks attraction”.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It’s a little hard to believe First Caribbean is going to lend $200 million on this, with no source of repayment other than the hope of over 2 million visitors a year. This is going to take something like $350 million to pay off. The presumed borrower is about 4 months old. Is there going to be a lien on the dock? There has to be more to it. Why so much secrecy about a public works project.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Have to believe the Canadian Bank CIBC has a Sovereign Guarantee from the CIG as surely they would not rely solely on 2 million visitors a year for repayment.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Unless we are all made out to be complete morons, we need to weigh ALL the projected costs, plans, schedules and assumptions beyond the isolated construction phase (a quarter of which we are on the hook for).

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    • Anonymous says:

      We are not taking any of the financial risk unlike plans a few years ago. We are not loaning or bonding anything.

      How many times does this have to be said?

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  4. Anon says:

    On thing that I haven’t heard addressed by CIG is will these ships still be able to dock and offload their passengers when there are storms in town? The waves already crash over the port when there is a norwester, so what will happen? Are we going to build it 10ft above the water line or higher or will the passengers just get soaked when the are disembarking the ship?

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  5. NO TO HUGE LOANS says:

    2 DOLLARS A HEAD ?
    My fear is that the
    government don’t
    know the future. And
    a global crises could
    make it very hard
    for tourists to pay up!

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Bo Miller was a true visionary. Gone too soon. MHRIP

    Here his “An argument against cruise berthing facilities” https://www.caymancompass.com/2015/07/30/An-argument-against-cruise-berthing-facilities/

    “The question is not whether we need a port improvement or not, it is whether we are prepared to sacrifice the very marine attractions which bring our visitors here in the first place. Anyone who takes the time to read Baird’s environmental impact assessment report would conclude that the risk and possible destruction of our marine environment far outweigh the purported, and unsupported benefits.“

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    • Anonymous says:

      Here it is. Proposed Cruise Berthing Facility, Grand Cayman Environmental and Engineering Consultancy Services Environmental Statement

      http://doe.ky/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/CaymanCBFEnvironmentalStatementFinal.pdf

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman Brac and Little Cayman has untouched, world-class diving. But of course, we forget about them. We focus on GCM and not on driving more visitors over there. Then GCM residents complain that Brac is a welfare island.

      Perhaps you should focus more on our two other islands rather than a small patch of coral in an area with cargo and cruise ships – who in their right mind plays hopscotch in a busy road?

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    • Benevolent Mindflayer says:

      Yes, I miss Bo. I didn’t always agree with him (although I do/did on this issue) but I always respected his reasoned approach to issues. It’s too bad he couldn’t get elected. Cayman will elect radio talk show hosts and criminals, but not solid, contributing citizens who speak their consciences instead of pandering to base needs and prejudices. Bo was indeed a visionary, but sadly, the electorate often can’t see beyond next week and they get sizzle instead of steak as a result.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    People need a reality check if they want to destroy whats left of our environment to put a dock down that will fall a part eventually no doubt.

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  8. Concerned Caymanian says:

    I am currently sailing on one of these mega ships and believe me, we do not want these in Cayman!! Most of the people in this ship are here for the casino and nothing else. I have spoken to quite a few people and asked if they have been to Cayman on a ship before and all of them have said that they do not mind the tendering however Cayman is too expensive. If prices were more comparable to other Caribbean Islands they might think differently, but they don’t spend money in Cayman. They have also said that they would prefer to tender if the other option was destroying the harbour. I even spoke to the Captain of the ship and even he thinks it is a stupid idea to destroy the harbour for these ships. If it could be done without destroying the coral/dive sites and environment then fair enough, but if the harbour is destroyed, then there is no turning back.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You said it yourself, you’re Caymanian. Of course people who like casinos are weird to you. So how can you speak on behalf of them about their opinions?

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      • Anonymous says:

        What are you saying? Caymanians shouldn’t speak their opinions about matters that could affect the island significantly and forever? Your comment is dumb.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah right, and I am on safari in Africa. Please don’t insult our intelligence with your make believe stories.

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      • Concerned Caymanan says:

        If I could post a picture on here I would show you. allure of the Seas out of Fort Lauderdale for 7 nights, currently just arrived in St Martin, would you like me to give you the current weather conditions? Don’t assume everyone who is against the port is making up stories, why donMt you ask our government about that. Oh, and to the person who said I am against casino, you are incorrect, I actually like them, just trying to make the point that people on these ships only like to spend their money on cheap trinkets and casinos, both of which Cayman doesn’t offer. What we do have to offer is already maxed to captivity (sand bar etc) and what our government are trying to do is irreversible. Don’t get me wrong, yes we need an upgraded cargo port, but we DO NOT need to pander to these cruise lines and their threats.

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        • Anonymous says:

          The cruise I was on last year openly advertised on the tannoy that prices onboard were guaranteed to be cheaper than each port of call we went to. Nobody was spending off the ship and at Cayman the biggest complaint was that there are barely any nice, cool malls, bars, cafes and restaurants in central GT.

    • Anonymous says:

      I was speaking to cruise ship passengers at Royal Palms who made similar comments, particularly tendering rather than destroying the reef. They were very concerned. The same comments were made by fellow passengers on a European cruise I was on last year when I spoke of Cayman. They thought it was a great shame. Several had been to Cayman on cruises and decided not to return because it was too expensive, overcrowded and too much development along SMB. The government is shooting Cayman in the foot.

  9. Anonymous says:

    yeah..mthis same govt that signed a contract guaranteeing CUC an annual profit if 15%???? yet we pay the price and they probably get……..

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Let them proceed! It is going to be a disaster! And along with the ever growing Dump, it would be the beginning of the end of your ‘economic miracle”.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Tom Wheeler, Former FCC&Telecom industry lobbyist had said (in 2016)
    1:57 “… if anyone tells you that they know details of what 5G is going to become, run the other way…..”
    13:43 “..we won’t wait for the standards, we are going to make this work…” I’ll repeat …..we won’t wait for the standards…we won’t wait for the standards….we won’t wait for the standards
    (from 5G APOCALYPSE – THE EXTINCTION EVENT documentary)

    What does it have to do with the cruise berthing project?

    CIG: We don’t know what the hell we are doing, but we always work this way….We won’t wait for the referendum, for the environmental impact studies, etc….we are going to build the dock.

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  12. Anon says:

    We need to see a business case prepared by one of the accounting firms, providing estimates of revenue and the cost of servicing the loan, detailing the exact source of revenue and the source of the loan repayments and which parties have legal liability for the debt. A “brief explanation of the finance model” is not good enough.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    The artist got the murkiness of the water spot on if you ask me.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Lets look at the maths.
    The original EIA estimate for this port was around US$180m
    The compliant bid was CI$229m which is US$280m
    The non compliant bid Option 2 as accepted by CIG is CI$196m which is US$230m
    A non compliant bid is cutting all the corners and the cheapest construction to lower the price of the project. Cheaper means less time and less materials used, translating into cheaper/less structural heavy concrete construction and cheaper hammered piling. All fast and cheap.to slice off and reduce the bid by US$50m

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  15. Anonymous says:

    But isn’t this the same set of plans we have been seeing since 2005?? What’s in big secret. Just a new set players getting kick backs.

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  16. What are we doing people? says:

    This entire cruise port project is a blatant display of the total disregard this government has for its people. The inspector’s reports over the past two years on the abysmal state of our public education system makes it clear that the government’s full focus and attention should be going towards fixing public education in this country, and not pouring millions into another huge public works project. The government wants to pour hundreds of millions of dollars and hundreds of tons of concrete and steel into the harbor. Why isn’t this type of commitment being made to educating the Caymanian people? What difference will it make to put new retail shops on a new cruise port, when the people of this country won’t have the basic education needed to become employable there? How many more teachers could be employed with that money? How many university educations for local children could that money buy? Why are we being asked to settle for a third world education system for our children, while foreigners come here with better educations and take advantage of the economic miracle that is Cayman? Why aren’t we educating our children to take advantage of the best careers available in Cayman? Why should we have to send Caymanian children to private schools to educate them properly? Why should Caymanian parents have to struggle to pay for private schooling for their children, while the government pours hundreds of millions of dollars into the sea? Should they not be investing that money in our children?

    The education of our children should be this and any subsequent government’s NUMBER ONE PRIORITY. But instead, we are going to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into a cruise berthing facility, so we can have a 20 more souvenir shops and so maybe a few Caymanians can have retail jobs. What are we doing people?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Absolutely! The Dump is equally important. You want your children to be born healthy. Many learning disabilities cayman children face today stem from the poisoned environment.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    This plan still involves a colossal amount of dredging – the product of which, construction fill, belongs to/enriches whom exactly? McAlpine? CIG? Individual MLAs? Should we start guessing?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Had CHEC got the contract, there would not be any need for guessing. This time round the proper process has been followed.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Anyone been to Aruba after their docks were built? I was there before and after. They ended up ‘having’ to build a mall to accommodate all of those cruisers that want to go shopping. In a mall. Like at home. It’s so gross. It was also empty. Like a ghost town. I wondered where everyone was. I turned around and got back on the boat.

    Seriously. Why do we want to be like all of the other islands visited by the ships?

    I genuinely do not understand this mentality.

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    • Anonymous says:

      And you obviously don’t listen to the press conference because you don’t understand what is planned for here.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Well apparently you were either listening to a different press conference or you have forgotten the complete incompetence CIG has demonstrated again and again and again on big projects. And again and again.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    Am I missing something? Commenters thus far seem to be concerned about the risk of paying this $200m off. But its Verdant Isle’s risk, not CIG’s. That’s the beauty of this proposal as I understand it. Only risk to CIG is that visitor numbers don’t increase so they don’t make up the lost revenue per head. At most that risk is $4 million, and that’s if we get zero cruise visitors, which seems unlikely.

    Don’t get me wrong, I still have major environmental concerns, but the financial ones are now put to rest.

    Unless I’m missing something.

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    • Anonymous says:

      We, by way of CIG, are volunteering to be on the hook for (at least) $2mln/yr x 25 years = $50mln, plus maintenance dredging, tugging, irreversible environmental degradation, insurance, and other hidden and/or unconsidered costs. They are air-balling this scheme without any existing order book for these ships for the next 5 years in a high-stakes bet that they will magically appear with required headcount to pay for this thing…and no decommissioning or lifespan plan/schedule from the looks of it.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The financing issue is that the government is paying $2/head plus the money paid to the tenders, which I think is around $5/head, so by my calculations that’s about $14mio/year for 25 years, or $350mio. I would have thought it better to put a cap on the deal so that its the earlier of paying off $300mio, or 25 years,whichever was first. If we do have a large increase in passengers the deal becomes more profitable for the backers without any further improvements or upkeep paid for the dock, although this last bit is a guess.

      This last comment will probably not be popular, but when this was first started we weren’t in a position to finance it, however, I think we are now. With interest rates so low, and going down tomorrow the cashflow/costs favour us paying for it vs giving up $14mio+ per year. I would have favoured issuing a 15 year Government bond at around 3%, that way we would be paid up 10 years earlier and any pick-up in cruise numbers are ours to keep.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Your calculations are wrong. CIG does not pay the tenders, the cruise ships do.

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        • Anonymous says:

          It would be helpful if we had full transparency (and audit-grade books) on what CIG pays in subsidies, the origin of these payments, characters involved, and scale. We’ve already seen and know that CI Port records are among the worst of any ministry.

      • Anonymous says:

        Your first paragraph is simply wrong. CIG doesn’t pay the tenders.

        Your second paragraph makes sense, but why take the risk? If someone else is willing to take the risk I say let them.

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      • Anonymous says:

        A note about credit spreads: At least a third of CIG’s outstanding USD Eurobond issue, $312mln 5.95% 24NOV19, largely the product of just one PPM term’s profligate spending, will need to be renewed at new worsening terms (higher service rates) in a few months. Nobody will lend to us at 3%. Bahamas borrowed at 6.95% in 2017, and Jamaica borrows at around 8%. We should all be talking about this event because the FCO will look at total existing outstanding indebtedness and won’t let us borrow more than what will be a shrinking post-Brexit territorial comfort level.

    • Anonymous says:

      We need to look at more than just the fabled short-sighted “construction costs”, even if those headcount assumptions were bankable and realistic (which they aren’t). $200mln, at least $50mln of which seems to be coming from us, doesn’t account for even a quarter of the full project lifetime costs and unintended lost-opportunity impacts.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Excellent comment

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      • Anonymous says:

        And if one to compare the cost of similar projects elsewhere, nearly all come under $100mil.

      • Anonymous says:

        Your missing the point entirely. We’re paying $50m (over 25 years!) instead of $200m. That’s a good deal! Verdant Isle is taking the risk of cost overruns and lost opportunity, not CIG. CIG can do something else with its money, thus taking advantage of other opportunities and not being tied to just this one!

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        • Benevolent Mindflayer says:

          It’s not really a “good deal” to spend $50m on something we don’t really need. Have you seen the stay-over tourism numbers? Have you heard about all the hotels that are going to be built here? The people who have jobs that cater to cruise tourists will have plenty of work with the tourists coming to the new and existing hotels. Or, we can hire another 5,000 expats to come in and take those jobs, drive our housing costs up and create more traffic on our woefully inadequate road system. So what if cruise numbers drop to 1.1 million because we don’t have a cruise dock. That’s what they were back in 2001 and everyone was happy. Save the money and improve the cargo dock and road system and fix the $%$# dump!

        • Anonymous says:

          Nope. Verdant isle will absolutely NOT pay for anything excluded from an agreement, and would likely sue if any attempt made to alter terms – which is why some Cayman-based grownups that have actually negotiated and been on both sides of this scale of deal should be on an high-level advisory panel, instead of leaving it to school leavers and non-practicing C grade law grads with their abysmal past track record and unabashed blinding self-interests always at heart.

        • Anonymous says:

          Billions in irreversible enviro degradation to our top water-based attractions, billions more in stayover repulsion – aren’t even factoring into this myopic plan, created by self-interested politicians (with appalling past track records) – who refuse to enact SIPL in compliance with the Constitution. Oh, and we’re going to hand this over to the CI Port, the worst performing and poorest record-keeping ministry in CIG. Did I miss anything?

    • Anonymous says:

      There will be some level of guaranteed minimum payback. You’ll never find out what it is.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Absolutely agree, financial deal is brilliant especially since the major cruise lines have skin in the game now and an incentive to bring their passengers here.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Over a 25 year period we could be hit by multiple major hurricanes
      look at the 2017 hurricane season for the other areas of the Caribbean from which they are still recovering

      You think Verdant Isle is going to simply going to accept losses if there is a serious decline in tourism numbers and thus fees which could happen at any point during the 25 year contract period

      Of course none of the media asked any questions regarding hurricanes impacts on the construction or the tourism numbers despite 6 months a year of hurricane season

      I’d love to see the rationale behind this project if we are hit with a hurricane on the scale of Irma, Maria,Harvey or Ivan which is not only possible but highly likely
      Statistically we KNOW during this period we will be hit by at least one or more major hurricanes

      • Anonymous says:

        Are you seriously saying that if we don’t build this we won’t get hit by a hurricane?

        I’m fairly sure cruise lines who operate in the Caribbean know all about hurricanes and include that risk in their financial modelling. As we all should.

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    • Anonymous says:

      only takes one hurricane…

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    • Anonymous says:

      Where is the construction money coming from? It has to be borrowed somewhere. Who is going to lend on the hope of visitors?

    • Anonymous says:

      Is the Cayman Islands Government giving a Sovereign Guarantee to the financiers for the project? If yes, all the risk is with the CIG.

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    • Anonymous says:

      9:08, Sorry to tell you that it is not Verdant Isle’s risk if CIG gave a Sovereign Guarantee.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s lazy to suggest Environmental concerns are not financial. How much is the water clarity of seven mile beach and west wall dive attractions (voted top 5 wall dive destination worldwide for decades) worth to you and to the territory? What is the total lifetime value of that asset and all of the creatures that reside there? How do you calculate that colossal number, degradation to all or any part of it, or (as Cabinet have done) exclude it entirely from these partial “construction only” costs, and surrender all future stewardship responsibility to a consortium of corrupt cruise ship operators designing the redacted agreements for our dirtiest signatories? For example, how are Baird’s conservative prop plume simulations (on their website) not factored into the unintended costs for everyone?!? These things matter to me, they should matter to you, and to all smarter Caymanians.

  20. Anonymous says:

    “However, the other jobs, he said, would result from the need for more staff in the retail stores, bars and restaurants, more taxi and bus drivers, as well as what he described as entrepreneurial opportunities for local people to service the sector.”

    CIG needs to make sure these jobs go to Caymanians. As sure as the sun will rise tomorrow most, if not all of them will go to cheaper foreign labor.

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  21. Anonymous says:

    I have not commented today on anything but I get a “you are commenting too fast, slow down” warning. What’s gong on?

    CNS: I get this complaint periodically but I don’t know how often it happens. It’s a common glitch on many sites caused by the WordPress ‘comment flood’ prevention mechanism, where one person can make the same comment over and over. There is a fix but it would leave the site vulnerable to the thing it’s there for. I’m just hoping that in one of their frequent updates that WordPress sorts it out. Really sorry!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Just to note if you are commenting from your workplace CNS would probably be seeing everyone in your workplace as the same person as they would just see your company’s public address.

      CNS: Yes, although just to stress, this is triggered by the WordPress platform. We never see the comments that get that message.

      • Anonymous says:

        I get this at home on my Android all the time for different comments, I don’t post the same comments. Hope WordPress sorts this soon.

    • Anonymous says:

      It happens when you post 2-3 comments few seconds apart. It also happens at random, when you are trying to post one comment only.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    So when this goes ahead and the tender operators sell their tenders to another operator in another country, where do the passenger fees from the tenders come from?

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    • Anonymous says:

      tender fees come from the cruise ship.
      At the dock they become dock fees.
      At anchor but no tenders. use ships boats and no ender fees. Or don’t stop.
      Question is whether a local tender company will find seasonal tendering a viable business model.
      Or we could just do what repeated tourism management plans have said and limit ships, in this case to 4 at the docks per day.

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      • Anonymous says:

        The cruise lines have always paid the tenders to transport their passengers to shore, now instead they will pay the Port Authority to use the pier.

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      • Anonymous says:

        So with only four ships per day, does thst mean that the Premier is getting his piers but the numbers of tourists will also be less. So explain why the necessity to build the piers.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Many liners already use their own orange lifeboat tenders as a crew safety/deployment drill and as a cost-savings measure. Unfortunately, those are the same passengers that complain about stuffy tender experiences.

      • Anonymous says:

        I have tendered on life boats many times with no issue. Don’t understand why it can’t be done in Cayman

  23. Anonymous says:

    It’s funny but looking at the picture? The “much needed upgrades” to the cargo side makes it look the same size. What was the point again? From how the CIG and it’s sheep were bleating, they were making it out it was going to be bigger.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It IS bigger 8.35, just compare it to the current footprint we have for cargo.

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      • Anonymous says:

        According to expensive reports we (the public) have commissioned, we are still years of growth away from utilizing 80% of our existing capacity, so it’s never been a physical infrastructure problem at the beleaguered port ministry.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    Peter Granger…. You man, are screwed… Anyone one to take any bets right now that it will come in under CI$200 million? And there was not anyone else in the running besides Verdant Isle… That name was circulated over two years ago on who was going to build the CBF. Alden, Moses will go down in history as the two responsible for the collapse of the Cayman Islands. (And the little boy Stran, too)

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  25. Anonymous says:

    I hate to ask the obvious, but what happens if/when cruise passengers numbers decline? Or are we going in the assumption that there’s wont be another global recession??

    The developers will still want their money.

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  26. Al Catraz says:

    “bars and restaurants” – Because the cheap cruisers who bought dining and drink packages aboard the ship are going to want to spend more on eating and drinking.

    “the premier insisted that the majority of people in Cayman support it” – but he does not trust them to vote that way.

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    • ENJ says:

      Agreed, especially since it will be so much easier to get back on the ship, grab something quick to eat, and disembark again.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Sure let’s take a tour to North Side’s crystal caves, but instead of eating a local dish while we’re out there, let’s wait until this evening where we can have lunch at 6pm on the ship.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Lunch is usually included in the cost of the tours (the costs we pay on the cruise ship for tours, not the amount the tour company pays the local providers).

    • Anonymous says:

      I had 4 friends that visited via cruise ship a few weeks ago and we spent the day together. I was planning on taking them for a local breakfast but they ate breakfast on the ship. For lunch they only wanted sandwiches (we went to Hurley’s) because there was food for them to eat on the ship. In total they spent about $50 on island.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Has any survey been done among prospective visitors to determine whethe they will all eat at our restaurants once the dock is build or if they will just have a pack of chips that they brought onshore in their bags like they do now? By the way the people At Port Royal in jamaica are complaining about no hopes of getting any jobs out of the increase tourism from their floating dock that is being installed.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Have to admit, I was in complete opposition before but now, I feel a little better about this port. I’m still skeptical but I like the financing and design of the port.

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    • A. Bodden says:

      7:02 am: I was in complete opposition to any new money-wasting environment-destroying dock before….. and I still am!

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    • Anonymous says:

      I would agree with you except that I believe we are due a new EIA and that will make my decision.

  28. Anonymous says:

    So whats the govts contingency plan on paying this off if the numbers drop? Hurricane damaged eastern Caribbean soon be fixed, Cayman may become unpopular from too much crowding, overpricing, destroyed environment.

    How can you base a payment plan on not just existing numbers but increased ones? Whos guaranteeing these numbers? And what is the penalty for non or short payback?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Can someone tell me what would happen if a Hurricane Ivan type hurricane were to hit this new port? Can the new port withstand a major hurricane similar to Ivan?

      Has anyone asked that question?

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      • Anonymous says:

        even without Ivan2 how often will maintainance dredging be needed and how will it be paid for?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Moses was guaranting last evening that there would be no flooding because they are putting in wave wall until Tammy pressed him with ” can you really guarantee that” then the comment changed to ” well no one can really guarantee that but we believe that the wave wall will help…………………”. I was then hoping that she would ask him about guaranteeing such a huge number of jobs but I guess that slipped her.

    • Anonymous says:

      6:00 you sound like you have not taken out a mortgage yet!

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    • Anonymous says:

      No decommissioning plan or bond for that purpose that we can see. Clearly we (backs of Cayman) are to bridge the inherent current passenger gaps (min 5yrs) since these ships aren’t even on the fabrication order book ($50mln), maintain dredging/Port tug fleet (another $100mln?) and pay enviro/decommissioning costs later (anyone’s guess). The “plan” and “costs” outlook should extend all the way thru eventual decommissioning date. Not even looking at other “costs” of degrading dive quality of west wall and clarity/swim-ability of our #1 attraction, seven mile beach, lost stay-over appeal, and congestion (if numbers eventually become achievable) etc. etc.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It would obviously not be in the best interests of the cruise lines, who are investors in this project, to let the arrival numbers decline. that would be shooting themselves in the foot – this is why this deal is so good

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    • Anonymous says:

      CIG response: 😦 what is ‘contingency’! 🤔

  29. Anonymous says:

    Pay close attention to the statement about employment possibilities. Only construction jobs. You can expect any increased excursions will go to the cruise lines themselves. We might sell a few more T-shirt’s. We will still have to deal with increased traffic, building new roads, and a further degradation of George Town as it becomes more of an industrial area. Our charming and unique Harbour becomes a concrete wasteland full of trucks and busses belching clouds of black smoke.

    Please reconsider identifying an alternative location that can still accommodate increased cargo and cruise berthing positives without as much downside. Perhaps that “Go east” campaign was just blowing smoke.

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    • Anonymous says:

      And no one except the cruise shippers will be able to see the sea. Even then, only when they are on board!

  30. BTC is King says:

    Cruise fees will fund project, says CIG = YOUR fees will fund project, says CIG

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  31. Anonymous says:

    So what are the cruise ship fees currently used for?
    Because what ever they fund now will either be cut or the money will have to be made up by the residents.
    You fooling no one with your foolish double talk.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The cruise fees now go to the tender boats owners

    • Anonymous says:

      11.36pm Perhaps you didn’t get to watch or listen to the press conference yesterday so let me explain. The money that is currently paid to the Tenders (by the cruise lines) will now be paid to the Port Authority who will then pay Verdant Isles, the company with the winning bid.The fees currently paid by the cruise lines to the Port Authority will continue to be paid to the Port Authority.On days when there are more than 4 ships and tenders are used the cruise ships will continue to pay the Tenders company for their services.

  32. Anonymous says:

    The walkways on the new design are excellent. With the new design it will actually create a marine habitat under the walkways. Whatever DOE did to influence that, great job.

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  33. Anonymous says:

    2 MILLION visitors needed to fund this?! Good luck with that one

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  34. Anonymous says:

    I plan to be there is a few years ( 5 to 7 years) to watch the first two 125,000 ton ships go one nose- in, with one reversing into those middle berths , if the picture ( above) July 29th artists rendition is actually a factual one. Possibly the geometry , scale and spacing was done with a kiddies ruler ? Can they provide an actual rendition that doesn’t look like a fun-house mirror at the carnie fete?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Seems to me they have it backwards. The buildings should be as close to town as possible and parking close to the sea. Surely the Port Authority knows what can and cannot be moved when the winds blow from the North West?

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