September 28, 2023

Cayman Tourism Minister announces proposed Cargo Port Redevelopment

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Hon. Kenneth Bryan

George Town, Cayman Islands (14 February 2023) The Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister of Tourism and Transport announced on Monday (13th February) that Cabinet has accepted the Strategic Outline Case (SOC) regarding the expansion of the Cayman Islands cargo port. He also confirmed Cabinet’s approval to move forward with the development of an Outline Business Case (OBC) for the project. 

Minister Bryan stated the two comprehensive documents serve separate purposes and are required under the procurement law. They also assist the government in making informed decisions regarding the feasibility and affordability of each scenario.  “The Strategic Outline Case establishes the options for government’s consideration while the Outline Business Case is completed by financial experts and takes things a step further by examining each of the options in more detail, including their costs,” he said. 

The current cargo port facility serves as the main port of entry for approximately 95% of all imports to the Cayman Islands. During the daytime hours, the facility is used to accommodate cruise operations and transitions to cargo port operations between the 6:00 pm and 5:00 am.

Minister Bryan stated the Cargo Port’s capacity is currently stretched, and within 10 years we will also be nearing capacity with respect to the cargo vessels that currently call in George Town Harbour.  The existing vessels are nearing their natural lifespan will transition to larger ships that will require larger cranes to offload them.

The report noted that the larger ships also require a deeper draft. “When fully loaded their draft will exceed the depth of the water at the port, and the ships will be unable to fully berth at the pier.” the Minister said. 

Taken together this means that the port will be unable to handle the level of cargo required to support our growing economy and population.

The report provides several options for Government’s consideration, ranging from expanding the existing port facility or establishing a port at an alternative location.

With respect to next steps, the Port Authority anticipates the recruitment of a Project Manager to oversee the business case process, which will be carried out by independent financial experts.

“Once the project manager is recruited, the next steps in the process will be for the Request for Proposals to be issued, seeking the financial consultants to draft the Outline Business Case. As is customary, the Strategic Outline Case will be included when the project goes out to tender. In addition, once the consultants have been identified to draft the Outline business case, a public consultation process will also take place at that time,” said Minister Bryan.

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