December 2, 2020

Government optimistic cruise lines can construct port

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Ci Port Tourism minister, Hon. Cline Glidden said since his meeting with the cruise lines in Florida recently he has now received a specific proposal.

Speaking at last Thursday’s press briefing, the minister said more than one cruise line were interested in putting together cruise ship berthing proposals for Grand Cayman and already he had received one specific proposal.

The major stumbling block was the United Kingdom’s (UK) traditional tender processing provisions as this proposal did not fall within them. However, he said although it was a challenge he had assistance from a procurement expert and the UK’s economic advisor. He, therefore, remained optimistic the government would be able to do something with the cruise lines and still follow good practice.

grand cayman portGlidden said it was too premature to go into the details of the present proposal submitted, nor would he name who the cruise line was but he did confirm the ownership of the facility would remain in the Port Authority’s hands. In return, the cruise line was requesting priority use of the pier it would build, for a given period of time.

Glidden also said cruise lines create options so no direct use of public money was involved. It was an advantage cruise lines had over third parties in a competitive bid as the latter would always have to obtain the commitment of the cruise lines whilst already having their own passenger commitment.

There were provisions, he said, in the tendering process for single source bids where value for money could be demonstrated but this was a new scenario whereby the cruise lines were offering to build a pier to dock their ships in our port. He likened it to a licensed development.

There had to be much talking with the UK, the minister agreed, and he hoped he could convince them of the difficulties a cruise ship terminal presented via the traditional Request for Proposal and competitive tender. At least, he added, to get one pier constructed.

Deputy Premier, Rolston Anglin agreed there were challenges ahead in its dealings with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and he hoped they would consider the idea favourably as there were significant advantages to the public purse that may be attractive to the FCO.


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