Senator Rudy Grant (at left) in conversation with Chairman, Barbados Port Incorporated, Larry Tatem (at right)

Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Rudy Grant, today reiterated the significant role Barbados Port Incorporated continues to play in “this new economic global environment”.

He was speaking at the christening of the new 12 million dollar docking area at the Port, Berth 5, which is expected to ease the congestion and enhance the service delivered to both cruise and cargo customers.

Senator Grant said the completion of this phase of port expansion was significant, and he added: “we must seize every single opportunity that offers itself to us. The benefit of cruise tourism is significant and I must compliment the Board of Directors and Management and assure them that they will receive the necessary support from the Ministry and the Barbados Tourism Authority.”

The Parliamentary Secretary anticipates a four percent decline in cruise tourism numbers this year but expects this to be countered. “We will stabilise the numbers in 2007, through combined efforts of the Ministry, Port and Tourism Authority. It is also expected that land-based tourism will see a four percent increase in its numbers.”

Chairman, Barbados Port Incorporated, Larry Tatem, said the work that was undertaken to create Berth 5 was very intensive. “We reclaimed 10 acres of land, we used 314 piles, 102 tons of steel, and 900 cubic metres of concrete. This new berth will afford us the opportunity to service cruise and cargo ships simultaneously.”

The Port’s reform and expansion project is ongoing with the rehabilitation of Berth 4 which is now at the halfway point. The work is estimated to be completed by January, 2007 and when this work is complete it will be able to accommodate a panamax crane. The Cross Berth has been demolished and is in the initial stages of rebuilding with 60% of its work complete. It is estimated to be finished next month. Paving of the access roads and replacement of water mains within the Port are 98% complete. Only the southern end of Shed 2 is to be paved and water mains at the Flour Mill to be replaced.

The upgrading and strengthening of the sea defences on the southern side of the port, which were damaged by Hurricane Ivan, have been completed.

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