Cayman Islands Government Crest

May 12, 2014

Consultants appointed to conduct Cruise Berthing Environmental Impact Assessment, May 2014

Cayman Islands Ministry of District Administration, Tourism and Transport

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (12 May, 2014) The George Town cruise berthing project took a major step forward this week when consultants were appointed to carry out the environmental impact assessment and marine engineering performance specifications.

In keeping with government’s commitment, the tender process was carried out in an open, transparent and competitive manner through the offices of the Central Tenders Committee, and W.F. Baird Coastal Engineers Ltd, were awarded the contract. The appointment also includes provision for a marine engineering study, as the environmental and marine engineering inputs for such a project must be considered together.

Baird, who has extensive Caribbean experience, will head up the team of consultants who will prepare the impact assessment. Their credentials are as follows:

  • W.F. Baird Coastal Engineers Ltd: an experienced international marine engineering group that provides professional engineering and technical services related to the design of coastal structures and facilities that interact with the world’s oceans, lakes and rivers.
  • Smith Warner International Ltd (SWI) based in Kingston Jamaica and are the largest Caribbean firm specializing in coastal engineering, coastal zone management, oceanography & marine related EIA’s. SWI will carry out the marine related studies and modelling for the impact assessment.
  • Technological & Environmental Network Ltd (TEMN) which comprises a team of engineers, planners and scientists whose combined knowledge and experience extend across a broad spectrum of human and physical environmental concerns. TEMN has experts in physical, chemical and biological sciences, including environmental chemistry, oceanography, marine biology, engineering, architecture, environmental planning, and project management.
  • MMM Group – are industry leaders in transport assessment and traffic impact studies for both public and private sector. Their findings will provide the information necessary to effectively manage the interaction of the cruise passengers in George Town and beyond.
  • Bolas Engineering – Cayman based structural and civil engineering firm who have been providing engineering solutions for over 20 years and will provide local coordination.

Commenting on this latest development, Minister of Tourism Moses Kirkconnell confirmed that the EIA represents an important step forward along the continuum to construct the cruise berthing facility. “The fact that milestones are being accomplished in compliance with international best practice as well as the terms of the FFR attests to the methodical approach this government is taking to ensure the project is managed in the right way, from a financial, technical and environmental standpoint, he said. “I am pleased that with the signing of the contract, the EIA study can now proceed in earnest, as various aspects have been attempted previously, but this is the first time that a comprehensive assessment will be completed for this project.”

Explaining the relevance of an expansive assessment, Kirkconnell elaborated that “In assessing possible impacts, the EIA will identify the actions that will be required to successfully protect the vitality of the area and safeguard against unintended consequences. As such, it will be an invaluable tool that will greatly assist my Ministry in making informed decisions for sound environmental management, at the early stages of planning and design.”

During the preparation of the impact assessment the Ministry of Tourism will conduct public and private sector stakeholder meetings and the process will be closely monitored by the Environmental Assessment Board, which comprises members from the Department of Environment (DOE), Ministry of Planning, Ports Authority, National Museum, National Roads Authority (NRA) and the Department of Tourism (DOT).

Councillor for Tourism Joey Hew, who has responsibility for Transport, added “Barring any unforeseen circumstance, the EIA is expected to be completed by the end of 2014. It will comprise an Environmental Statement (ES) and an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) and the recommendations and requirements which stem from it will be incorporated into the final cruise berthing facility planning and construction process. The Marine studies will be carried out between now and September, but the traffic analysis; which is an essential part of the EIA, that will also provide pertinent information for the George Town Revitalisation Project, will extend slightly longer.”

All related reports associated to the Cruise Berthing Facility; including the Strategic Outline Case, Business Case and Terms of Reference for the Environmental Impact Assessment have been made public and are available on the Ministry of Tourism website.