The Cayman Islands government has selected Verdant Isle Port Partners (VIPP) as the preferred bidder for a project to construct a new cruise berthing facility (CBF) and enhance current cargo facilities.
Comprised of McAlpine, Orion Marine Construction, Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises, the consortium was selected after proposing to develop the facility for under KYD 200 million (USD 243.9 million).
The figure includes enhancement of the cargo port which is currently is 40 years old.
The berthing facility will consist of two-finger piers constructed on pilings to allow the sea and marine life to move underneath.
The government noted that locating the piers in deeper water has resulted in the need for less dredging and less coral relocation than previously considered in the 2015 scheme submitted for environment impact assessment. It was also noted that there would be no dredging in Hog Sty Bay.
The KYD 200 million figure Under the proposed model, the Port Authority will continue to operate and manage the facility and four cruise lines will enter into preferential berthing rights for the new piers. The Port Authority will operate the four berths and two existing anchor points to manage the number of vessels and passengers visiting the Islands.
The financial investment required to build the piers will be repaid over 25 years to the preferred bidder using a portion of the passenger fee which is charged for each passenger brought to the new piers.