The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) advised their government to learn from the approaches taken by experts in Antigua and Barbuda in the redevelopment of the Deep Water Harbour Port Facility during the revitalization of Scarborough port.
Antigua and Barbuda commissioned its redeveloped Deep Water Harbour Port Facility in December 2022, and the Tobago delegation was invited to the ceremony. The delegation included THA’s Infrastructure Secretary, Assemblyman Trevor James, principal architect in the Division of Infrastructure, Quarries and Urban Development (DIQUD), Nikisha Powder and the manager, Project Management Office, DIQUD, Phillip Heeralal.
The delegation outlined significant aspects of the project of Antigua and Barbuda and gathered knowledge about Antigua’s existing maritime infrastructure. Secretary James asserted that Antigua recently reclaimed 34 acres of land for the Port’s development.
He outlined that Antigua built its container port and extended its cruise ship port, bringing 450-plus containers per week.
While explaining the benefits of the project, James asserted that they had witnessed the efficient use of the marine space, which benefited Antigua. But in Tobago, there is a need to push the development plan for Scarborough.
During the delegation’s visit to Antigua, the team met with several key players in the industry, such as CEO of Antigua Port Authority Darwin Telemaque, current chairman of the Port Committee of the Organisation of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), and chairman of the Port Management Association of the Caribbean (PMAC); Rhuletta Thomas, senior advisor of Natural Resource and Environmental Management to the National Parks Authority; manager of Nelson Dockyard, and Senator Cheryl Mary and Clare Hurst, chair of the Antigua, and Barbuda Port Authority.
The delegations also analyzed several facilities and methodologies for the effective running of the Port. James stated that the two islands resemble each other, and there will be a possibility in future for the establishment of a lucrative state-of-the-art port facility.
The Port was first built and dredged in 1968 by the then ALP Administration and has lasted 50 years. The redevelopment and expansion of the Port will now allow it to engage in transhipment activities and centralized shipping services, making it the largest Cargo Port in the OECS. The loan from the China ExIm Bank of 97 million USD allowed for the improvements to take place; the Antigua Barbuda government negotiated a long moratorium along with a concessionary interest rate.
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