Global Ports Holding (GPH) expects the Saint Lucia cruise port investment project to be completed within two years once construction begins, the company said during a press conference.
Sean Matthew, business development advisor at GPH, said the public would begin to see construction vehicles mobilized by the first quarter of 2024, pending approval by the Development Control Authority (DCA).
The London-based GPH signed a 30-year agreement with the Government of Saint Lucia in August.
“Our commitment is for total spend and for total infrastructural development that has been agreed to by both parties through our design and submission to the government,” Matthew said.
The scope of the project includes work to be completed at Pointe Seraphine, the Vendors Arcade, and other facilities in Castries, Bananes Bay and Soufriere. Twenty million dollars of the project budget will be allocated to alleviate debt accumulated by the Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA), according to a statement from GPH.
“At Pointe Seraphine, we are going to improve the berthing capacity and strength to accommodate the largest vessels in the world, which can carry up to 6,500 passengers and 2,500 crew,” Matthew said. “We will also straighten the berth at Port Castries and introduce several tender jetties in Castries and Bananes Bay.”
GPH was committed to resolving the issue of traffic management, he added. “One of the initiatives that we’ve planned, since the project includes Bananes Bay, is to have proper-sized ferries take people across; then they can take their tours from Bananes Bay to Soufriere and other places.”
SLASPA CEO Daren Cenac stressed the need to boost cruise tourism in Saint Lucia. “A partner like GPH really embraces our vision to modernize cruise-related services in Saint Lucia.”
GPH has a presence in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Asia-Pacific and Montenegro. Its portfolio includes cruise and commercial ports.