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Work on new port could start this year

Date: 2019-02-26

Global Ports Holding (GPH) has pulled the trigger on mobilizing geotechnical studies and an environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the Port of Nassau in a bid to get a jumpstart on the redevelopment of Nassau’s cruise port, the company’s Head of Business Development for the Americas Colin Murphy said yesterday.

Murphy said GPH could finalize an agreement with the government in one to two months. And the port could be completed in about two years.

GPH wants to move ahead quickly with the redevelopment of the port, Murphy said, adding that the EIA should not be a major hindrance to the start of the project given that the port has been an active port for many years.

“It’s been a commercial port for hundreds of years, so we don’t anticipate any issues with that [EIA],” he said.

“But, obviously, that’s a key thing that we have to do and we have to make sure that we do it properly and that’s what we intend to do.”

The port is expected to cost $250 million. Murphy explained that most of that money will be spent outside of expanding the cruise berths.

He said the lion’s share of the money will be spent outside of the actual port area on facilities that will create a destination with activities and restaurants for cruise guests, hotel guests and Bahamians to visit.

While Murphy could not say how many construction jobs will be created, he said the project will be “a significant job creator”.

“Everyone who works on the port will be Bahamian,” he said. “We may bring in some expertise from our other ports.”

According to Murphy, GPH is interested in restoring Nassau’s port to its former glory. He said while the Port of Nassau is one of the busiest cruise ports in the world, it is “not as great as it should be”.

Murphy said GPH will move the project along as quickly as possible without interrupting operations at the port.

“We think this will be a transformative project for downtown Nassau,” he said. “We think it’s going to be good for locals and we want to bring that to the table as quickly as we can.”