Prime Minister, Dr Keith Mitchell has moved speedily to deliver on one of his 2017 budget promises having turned the sod for a modern, state of the art passenger and cargo port facility at Tyrell Bay.
This development brings to and end the traditional fact of the island’s main port being situated at Hillsborough and it is said will represent a significant upgrade in operation and a greater safety to its general users.
Last week Thursday both the prime minister and Minister for Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs, Hon. Elvin Nimrod simultaneously performed the symbolic gesture to much applause from ahigh-powered delegation from Government and the Grenada Ports Authority.
The China based, Gensu Engineering and Construction Company will construct the facility, which is located adjacent to the Tyrell Bay Marina,at a cost of M$ 3.4 funded locally. With preparatory work already commenced, the project is scheduled to be completed in November of this year.
Dr Mitchell said that the project would be equipped with all of the amenities required for a professional and first class operation. He pointed out that such a project would see the enhancing of business activities to the sister isles and country in general.
He said the decision was taken in order to enhance the future development of the country.
“We are heading in the right direction”, said Dr Mitchell.
He told the crowd that the new port facility is coming following several enormous challenges,which were encountered by the developers of the Tyrell Bay Marina (under the previous administration) who first developed the area where the port would be constructed.
Minister Nimrod coined the ceremony as a proud and significant moment in the advancement of the sister isles.
He said that the move is relevant following the wear and tear of the Hillsborough jetty, which now poses a danger to human lives.
Against this he said, following a series of consultations and studies, Tyrell Bay was identified as the most suitable location for the island’s new port.
“Tyrell Bay has large capacity for development in keeping with a relevant society,space to expand, doesn’t have sea swells (except in 1999 with the hurricane Lennie storm surge).“It is more sheltered,” said the minister.
He said the project must be seen as a holistic way of developing the entire island and spoke of several regional and international investors who have already indicated an interest in keeping Hillsborough abuzz with economic activities.
“Hillsborough would remain a very viable and significant area in Carriacou and as a matter of fact all of the main institutions like the police station, banks, etc are there”, said the minister.
General Manager of the Grenada Ports Authority, Carlyle Felix said that that the new facility would replace Hillsborough as the main port of entry and spoke of some of the benefits to be derived from the change.
He said that by moving to Tyrell Bay they are directly addressing the numerous safety concerns expressed about the Hillsborough port.
“Some of the benefits you can expect are a modern state of the art facility, improvement in warehouse space, a significant improvement in services to port users, reduction in cargo dwell time and the improvement in vessel turn around time”, said the port manager.
Chairman of the port’s Board of Directors, Dr Wayne Sandiford, said that the project began in 2010 and he is happy to see that they have arrived at such an important juncture.
In praising the prime minister and his administration along with the proprietors of the Tyrell Bay Marina Jerome McQuilkin and John Walker (both were present), he said that they all collectively worked with a similar goal towards the enhancement and delivery of services to the people of the sister isles.
He said that the Memorandum of Understanding with the Tyrell Bay Marina developers has already allowed them to inherit some 784 feet of berthing space, which he says is already significantly more than what currently stands in Hillsborough.
“This is the Grenada Ports of Authority’s flagship project for 2017”, said Dr Sandiford.
Also in attendance were Senator Norland Cox, Manager of the Port,Mr Ian Evans and members of Gensu Construction Company.