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Parliament Updated On KCT Expansion Project
KINGSTON (JIS) -- Work on the dredging of the access to the Kingston Harbour is now 50 per cent complete. This was disclosed by Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr Horace Chang, during his contribution to the 2017/18 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives yesterday (April 5). The project, which is being undertaken by concessionaire, Kingston Freeport Terminal Limited (KFTL), involves deepening of the entry channel and reinforcing the quay at Port Bustamante. This will facilitate access by the new Panamax vessels, which are passing through the region consequent on the recent expansion of the Panama Canal. The work is being carried out under phase one of the Kingston Container Terminal (KCT) expansion project, which is expected to be completed by December 2018, at a cost of approximately US$150 million.
Providing further project updates, Dr Chang informed that the works to upgrade the capacity of the KCT’s South Terminal at Gordon Cay, to accommodate the largest ships traversing the Panama Canal, is also under way.
In addition, new container-handling equipment is being acquired, and, already, the productivity of the terminal has progressed from 24 to 28 moves per hour.
Dr Chang noted that on completion of the works in the first and second phases, the KCT capacity will move from 2.3 to 3.5 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).
“Kingston Wharves Limited has also been aggressively upgrading its capacity, with the addition of new cranes, container-handling equipment and bulk-handling equipment.
“It has also moved to establish itself as a leading logistics service provider, with the construction of a new 160,000 square foot ‘total logistics’ facility approaching completion,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Chang said the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) plans to expand warehousing space for all aspects of logistics at the Montego Bay and Kingston Ports as it continues to pursue strategic initiatives to modernise the maritime sector.
“In Montego Bay, cargo operations will be enhanced with the completion of a new 72,000 square foot warehouse facility that will lead to increased and faster cargo handling as well as improved service delivery. Cruise shipping, especially ‘home porting’, is the primary activity of Montego Bay,” he said.
The Minister noted that Kingston will see the build-out of 150,000 square feet of warehouse facilities that will provide “incubator/proof of concept” solutions for potential logistics investors.