Scotiabank finances US$60-million upgrade projects at MBJ


Scotiabank finances US$60-million upgrade projects at MBJ

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

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Scotiabank has provided loan financing to facilitate significant infrastructure improvements being done at Sangster International Airport (SIA) in Montego Bay.

Earlier this month the bank inked a financing agreement valued at US$60 million to fund the expansion of the departures retail area, aimed at increasing circulation space and improve the retail experience for passengers at the airport. SIA is operated by MBJ Airports Limited.

“These investments will not only improve the passenger experience, but will also result in environmental and economic benefit with our renewable energy initiative. MBJ also intends to reshape the passenger journey with the introduction of next-generation technology to reduce the number of touchpoints and make the passenger experience seamless,” shared Shane Munroe, chief executive officer (CEO) of MBJ Airports.

Additionally, the airport is investing in a one megawatt solar PV installation solar project to power the airport facility— a move geared towards reducing operating costs and the airport's carbon footprint. Other projects scheduled for upgrades includes a major upgrade of the airport's HVAC system, which include the installation of new chillers and replacement of the airport's passenger processing system.

“The expanded departures area will offer more seating, improved natural lighting, entertainment and exciting retail offerings that will create a memorable experience for passengers to enjoy their last moments in Jamaica,” a recent release informed.

Scotiabank's senior vice-president in charge of corporate and commercial banking, Perrin Gayle, said that the bank is committed to contributing to growth and supporting the local economy.

“The tourism industry will undoubtedly be positively impacted by this long-term investment, which will, by extension, benefit Jamaica for years to come,” he said noting that this is the second such arrangement undertaken over the past two years.

In 2018, Scotiabank provided a financing arrangement valued at US$40 million for the rehabilitation of the taxiways and apron.

SIA, one of the Caribbean's leading airport, has over the years remained a significant economic driver. The airport currently employs in excess of 7,000 individuals with over 80 per cent of its businesses locally owned, contributing over US$230 million directly to the economy of Jamaica.

“The investments being undertaken by MBJ demonstrate its confidence that Jamaica will continue to be the destination of choice for passengers and will ensure that the facilities are on par with international standards,” the release also said.

Audley Diedrick, chairman of the Airport Authority of Jamaica (AAJ), in commenting on the expansion projects, commended MBJ for its continued commitment to the development and operation of the SIA to the highest standards.

“The AAJ will continue its supportive role as grantor of the airport concession to MBJ, as together we play our roles to ensure that Jamaica recovers from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

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