October 16, 2019

Cayman Islands Government and Verdant Isle Port Partners release updated cruise berthing and enhanced cargo plans

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (16 October, 2019)

The Cayman Islands Government and Verdant Isle Port Partners, the group that was named preferred bidder for the Cayman Islands cruise berthing and cargo enhancement project, has today released updated plans and drawings for the project.

Verdant Isle Port Partners was named preferred bidder on 26 July 2019.

Speaking for Verdant Isle, Mr. Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean said the group had been working on the continual improvement of the original plans that were initially submitted as part of the tendering process.

“The project will be carried out under a design, build, finance and maintain procurement which meant all final details of the project, including the design and financing, could not be announced until the preferred bidder was selected – as those details were part of the selection process,” he said.

“Since the announcement of Verdant Isle as preferred bidder we have been working with the Cayman Islands Government, and in particular the Port Authority of the Cayman Islands, to adjust and refine our submitted plans to better fit their specific requirements.  We are happy to now be in a position to release these updated plans.”

The public are invited to view the plans which are available on the Support our Tourism and Verdant Isle Port Partners websites.

“The updated plans reflect a number of adjustments including but not limited to the following when compared to the EIA2015 plans:

  • 3 % increase in total  Cruise Facility
  • 3% decrease in total Marine Excavation Volume
  • 3% decrease in total Marine Excavation Footprint
  • 27% increase in Cargo Port area
  • Reduction of Piers Width from 25 to 22 meters wide
  • Elimination of the Marine Excavation Area/Volume associated with the South Side Dock & Eden Rock
  • Incorporating the use of all materials from Marine Excavation for the upland reclamation – NO OFFSHORE DUMPING

Note* all previous quantities are reflected in the 2015 Baird EIA that can be found on the DoE website.

“We want this project to be a model for design, construction and operation that is responsive to community needs, sensitive to its unique setting and meets functional and operational requirements.”

Premier of the Cayman Islands Hon. Alden McLaughlin said he was pleased the public could now see the updated plans for the cruise berthing and enhanced cargo facility particularly now that final detailed discussions have taken place.

“The Government has listened to the concerns of the public and have put the piers into deeper water and chosen a cargo option that also minimizes the dredging.  The process has taken as long as was needed to ensure we arrived at a project that secures the future of the Cayman Islands cruise tourism industry and protects the well-being of the thousands of Caymanians who benefit directly or indirectly from cruise tourism as well as minimize the environmental impact,” he said.

Deputy Premier, Hon. Moses Kirkconnell, speaking about the enhancements to the cargo port said “We are confident the project will deliver long term benefits for the country, including providing a much-needed increase of about 30% in usable working area for the cargo port that will make it available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  This improves our current situation where large sections of the cargo yard have to be cleared every night to allow for buses for the cruise tours.  We are also confident that the financial arrangement delivers the best overall deal for the country.”

The revised plans have significantly reduced the environmental impact(s) of the project and Verdant Isle Port Partners are currently in the process of submitting to DoE an EIA Scoping Update to the EIA which compares the previous 2015 Baird Drawings to the most revised drawing set supplied by Verdant Isle Port Partners.

The Scoping Update will be undertaken for Verdant Isle by professional consultants subcontracted through Schneider Engineering, who are:

Baird & Associates, the Environmental Consultants who undertook the original EIA in 2015; Polaris who are the Coral Relocation specialists that have undertaken many coral restoration projects in Grand Cayman; Potentially Van Oord, an international dredging contractor with specialist experience in dredging in sensitive marine sites.

Also commenting on the port redevelopment aspect of the berthing facility project, Joseph Woods, Acting Port Director confirmed that “the upgraded and expanded cargo port will enable the Port Authority to handle well into the future; the growth in the volume of cargo as both the economy and the population grows.  The addition of a longer and wider pier makes it possible for the Port Authority to upgrade its cargo handling equipment to serve larger cargo vessels more efficiently.  The new design also makes it possible to handle more than the two ships simultaneously; an amount that we are presently limited to,” he said.

Throughout the project and following its completion, the Cayman Islands Port Authority will continue operating and managing the cruise and cargo facility, which includes cargo operations; customs, immigration, and passenger cruise operations; berthing fees, preferences and number of ships; and retail operations at the cruise terminal.

The Cayman Islands Government and Verdant Isle will continue to update the community as the process continues and we look forward to continued feedback and open dialogue with the people of the Cayman Islands.

To access information related to the cruise berthing project, please visit the Support our Tourism website or connect with us on facebook.

To access information related to verdant, please visit the Verdant website or connect with us on facebook