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China Harbour wants to build coal-fired power plant for Goat Islands

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 | 7:39 PM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Transport and Works Minister Dr Omar Davies says that China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) wants to construct its own coal-fired plant to generate power to build a projected $1.5 billion port project at Goat Islands.

Davies said Tuesday that the Chinese company made the decision because of the prevailing high electricity rates in Jamaica.

CHEC is in discussions with government to develop a trans-shipment port in the Portland Bight area of southern Jamaica that is hoped would lure the deep-drafting ships expected to start using the Panama Canal when its expansion is completed in 2015.

CHEC aims to build an industrial park, container terminal, logistics zone and shipping berths to accommodate "post-Panamax" vessels carrying a bigger share of regional cargo, much of it from China.

The China-based company has applied for a licence to begin geotechnical work and an engineering survey in the Portland Bight Protected Area area of St Catherine, including Goat Islands. 

The planned block and steel development of the protected area has sparked furious debate since news of the government’s decision broke some months ago.

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