Falmouth Cruise Ship pier to accommodate larger vessels

Falmouth Cruise Ship pier to accommodate larger vessels

Expansion coming!

BY HORACE HINES Observer West reporter

Thursday, April 23, 2015

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FALMOUTH, Trelawny — President and CEO of the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) Professor Gordon Shirley says plans are being finalised for the expansion of the US$222-million four-year-old Falmouth Cruise Shipping Pier -- a joint venture between the Port Authority of Jamaica and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL).

Shirley said that the RCCL has indicated that the two existing berths, designed to accommodate 6,000 and 4,000 passenger vessels respectively, "won't cut it".

Shirley said that the RCCL has indicated that the two existing berths, designed to accommodate 6,000 and 4,000 passenger vessels respectively, "won't cut it".

"We really have to have the second berth developed to take the very largest ships," Shirley emphasised.

"I am telling you this that you will know that we have some work to do on the berths again and that will also be coming soon," he added.

Shirley argued that the privatisation of the Kingston Container Terminal (KCT) will allow the PAJ "to invest even more effort and interest in the development of its other asset here in Falmouth".

But mayor of Falmouth Councillor Garth Wilkinson who welcomed the announced expansion underscored that it would be followed by works to address the erosion of the Falmouth to Rock main road.

"The work can't commence on the berth until we protect the shoreline along the Rock road. We have to protect that road on the eastern side of Falmouth before," the Falmouth mayor pointed out. "[But] upon the completion of that (Falmouth to Rock road), and the expansion of the berth, we will enjoy the arrival of more large vessels in the Falmouth Port."

Wilkinson was speaking with the Jamaica Observer West last week following the ground breaking ceremony for a $180 million project to construct a new state-of-the-art market in the town.

The construction of the market by contractors, Surrey Paving and Aggregate, is scheduled to be completed by the end of December.

He disclosed that work should get underway for the establishment of a commercial centre on a plot of land opposite the area where the market is to be constructed.

Transport and Works Minister Omar Davies, during his keynote address at the groundbreaking ceremony, indicated that he has tasked the PAJ to bolster the business process outsourcing(BPO) industry, noted that the historic town of Falmouth will be one of the locations where the sector will be developed.

Like Atkinson, Wilkinson who quickly welcomed the prospective employment opportunities which will flow from the ICT sector, also cited the need for the youth to train in preparation of the anticipated jobs.

"We will encourage young persons to increase their educational standard in readiness for the job creations that we will have, which is so important in the parish right now. We have to make sure that our young people are trained for all of that because that (BPO) is going to come very fast," Wilkinson told the Observer West. In the meantime, Professor Hylton who was also speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, also announced plans to increase the attractions on the port, as well as to extend its opening hours. "We have some new attractions that we expect to have directly on the port as we evolve the port from being one which the tourist just come and will stay on the port. We want this port to be one which will be more open and beyond more open, we don't want it to be just open on cruise ship days. We see a port that will have a life and experience for visitors and the people of Falmouth well beyond the days that cruise ships are here," he explained. He noted that currently emphasis is being placed on the development of sidewalks and other infrastructure in the historic town. "Already the streetscaping projects on Harbour Street and Falmouth Street have started. As soon as Falmouth Street is finished, the development on the sidewalks and the facade on Market Street, Tharpe Street will commence immediately thereafter," Professor Hylton said.

"We will encourage young persons to increase their educational standard in readiness for the job creations that we will have, which is so important in the parish right now. We have to make sure that our young people are trained for all of that because that (BPO) is going to come very fast," Wilkinson told the Observer West. In the meantime, Professor Hylton who was also speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, also announced plans to increase the attractions on the port, as well as to extend its opening hours. "We have some new attractions that we expect to have directly on the port as we evolve the port from being one which the tourist just come and will stay on the port. We want this port to be one which will be more open and beyond more open, we don't want it to be just open on cruise ship days. We see a port that will have a life and experience for visitors and the people of Falmouth well beyond the days that cruise ships are here," he explained. He noted that currently emphasis is being placed on the development of sidewalks and other infrastructure in the historic town. "Already the streetscaping projects on Harbour Street and Falmouth Street have started. As soon as Falmouth Street is finished, the development on the sidewalks and the facade on Market Street, Tharpe Street will commence immediately thereafter," Professor Hylton said.



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