A modern port complex for St. John’s

2019, November 1: Antigua is currently in the throes of development with two major projects happening at the same time: a major cruise port development and a total rebuild of its domestic cargo terminal. In effect, Antigua is building a new port complex – cruise and cargo terminals – inside the existing port footprint.

St.John’s, Antigua

Global Ports Holding (GPH) announced at the end of October that it had started cruise operations at the port of St. John’s following an agreement between the company and the government of Antigua and Barbuda in which GPH will develop and operate cruise business in that country for a 30-year period, starting February 4, 2019.

The company published a statement on October 30, 2019, in which it announced that it had started operations in Antigua and Barbuda and confirmed that it was committed to investing in and completing a new cruise pier that is able to berth the largest passenger ships now cruising the Caribbean. The company also reaffirmed its intention to channel investments towards improving and expanding St. John’s retail facilities. In this regard, GPH expects to invest US$45 million and more in Antigua during its first year of operations. During that period, the company states that it will be working with local stakeholders to improve guest facilities.

Even as GPH started in cruise operations in Antigua, construction of new domestic cargo facilities at the Port at St. John’s was well underway and at an advanced stage. Built at a time before cargo shipment in containers became the standard and much of the region’s domestic cargo was shipped as breakbulk, St. John’s was long overdue for a rebuild.

“It is a domestic port, ever since it was first built with British assistance but it has been outdated since the early seventies,” the port’s CEO, Darwin Telemaque, said.

On completion, the modernised facility is expected to streamline and thus make more efficient the process of receiving, storing and delivering cargo to consignees, he said.

Shovels went into the ground on January 15, 2018 to begin work on the new cargo terminal. Completion is expected towards the end of 2020.

The St. John’s cargo terminal project was estimated to cost US$90 million. []