Officials Discuss Challenges To Port Expansion

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Thursday 3rd May, 2018-The possible impact that modernization of the Deep Water Harbour can have on the eco-system and other key areas were discussed at length when managers of the Development Control Authority, The Fisheries Department, the Antigua Port Authority, and the Department of the Environment visited Cabinet to discuss the challenges connected to the expansion.

Of concern is dredging of the area. The building of berms on the northern side of Rat Island where new land is to be created from dredged material is of concern to the parties. Work has begun to construct the barriers which will be strengthened by an additional barrier made from rocks. The object is to confine the dumped material within the barriers, keeping the material from straying into areas where fish and crustaceans spawn.

The creation of 12 acres of new land, west and north of the existing wharf, within sheet pilings that will allow for 35 feet of draught by cargo vessels, is also contemplated.

The new land will be created by dumping the dredged material within the sheet piling created for the purpose. Work will begin shortly. The managers also held a discussion about the uses to which the new land is to be put. The Port Expansion Project will be financed by a soft loan from the ExIm Bank of China to the tune of US$90 million dollars.

Cabinet is reporting that at the end of discussions yesterday, all parties left at a “happy place”.