Montserrat has launched the Little Bay Port Development project, considered to be one of the largest projects in recent times on the British Overseas Territory.
The project was launched Friday in collaboration with the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Fund (UKCIF).
Premier Donald Romeo said that the launch marks one of the first steps towards the fulfilment of the long hoped for transformation dream.
“We have had to change our path several times, tacking against the wind as we press on inch by inch towards our destiny. That is how, today, we are now witnessing the reality of one of Montserrat’s giant steps; a huge step for access, for trade and for tourism,” said Romeo.
The EC$76.5 million (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) port will be able to accommodate larger cruise ships than those currently accommodated and it is expected that the number of cruise passengers will increase. The project has been made possible through grant funding of £14.4 million (One British pound =US$1.27 cents) from DFID under the UKCIF, which is administered by CDB. T
Montserrat is providing seven million pounds in counterpart resources with financial support from the European Union.
“Over the long term, the provision of reliable access and connectivity to the island for the movement of people, goods and services increases the trading potential with an ultimately positive impact on growth,” said Andrew Dupigny, Head, Infrastructure Partnerships, CDB.
The project will deliver a set of new cargo handling equipment for the Montserrat Port Authority. In addition, the project will build capacity within the Montserrat Port Authority by providing a number of training opportunities as part of the institutional strengthening component of the project.
During the construction phase that ends in 2022, it is estimated that the project will create employment and generate business in other sectors of the economy than construction, including companies operating retail businesses primarily in the areas of housing, accommodation, rentals, taxi operation, vehicle rentals and businesses providing food and beverage services.