Thursday 18th June, 2018-Global Ports seem poised to win the contract to manage port facilities in the country.
They have been meeting with Cabinet for some time, discussing their proposal with the hope that they will receive the green light.
Their visit to Cabinet on Wednesday appears to have placed them one step closer to taking over the responsibilities.
Global Ports is proposing to advance the monies required to construct the OASIS-capable pier in Antigua, pay-off a debt that remains outstanding since 1997, and enhance the cruise passenger experience by constructing more shops and other amenities. Global Ports also plans to make Heritage Quay more attractive than it now is.
If given the nod, it will mean that the Antigua Pier Group and St. John’s Development Corporation will have reduced roles, according to Cabinet Spokesperson Melford Nicholas.
Officials from Global Ports told Cabinet that St. Kitts and Nevis welcomed more than 1,000,000 cruise passengers in 2017, and that is primarily because its cruise facility can accommodate the OASIS Class Ships—the largest sailing vessels today. St. Kitts is building yet another pier that will enable the port to host two Oasis Class Vessels simultaneously.
Should Antigua not move to construct an Oasis-capable pier, the cruise lines will divert to other destinations and harbours that can accommodate these huge vessels.