Environment delays Caymanas Economic ZoneWednesday, May 16, 2012
BY ISHENA ROBINSON Business reporter
CONSTRUCTION of the Caymanas Economic Zone (CEZ) is likely to be stalled once more, despite assurances by developers that ground will be broken by the end of the year.
Designs for the development have been completed but the Factories Corporation of Jamaica (FCJ) is still awaiting approval from the National Environmental Protection Agency to begin the project.
The nature of the CEZ necessitates that environmental issues be taken into consideration, said managing director Horace Sutherland after being asked when exactly construction of the zone will start.
"It is a question I'd like to answer definitively, but the process is quite painstaking," he said. "Your guess is as good as mine as to when we will get those permits from NEPA."
In its estimate of expenditures for 2012-13 the FCJ said development of the zone would begin this fiscal year, but Sutherland told the Jamaica Observer that hiring of contractors has not yet started.
"We don't want a situation where we procure bids and the permits don't come through," he said.
Delays have plagued the starting of infrastructural work at the proposed business development, which was initially slated to begin last August. Sutherland said the FCJ is now aiming for the US$210 million (J$18 billion) project to begin around October.
The FCJ plans to fund the project partly through the sale of 10 properties this year. The company estimates it
will make $376 million in 2012-13 through its continued divestment activities.
Operating expenses for the FCJ are projected to amount to $579.9 million, a more than 50 per cent jump on the estimated figures for the 2011-12 fiscal year.