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IDB provides US$175M to upgrade Jamaica port

Published:Sunday | December 20, 2015 | 12:00 AM
A section of the Kingston Container Terminal.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Friday said it had approved its largest single non-sovereign guaranteed transaction in Jamaica with a senior secured loan of up to US$175 million to finance the optimisation and expansion of Kingston's container terminal capacity.

The IDB said the loan will help finance the deepening of the navigation channel from 13.5 to 14.2 metres, reinforcing part of the existing quay and acquiring new equipment to expand the terminal capacity from 2.8 million to 3.2 million twenty-foot equivalent units per year.

The upgrades will increase the port's competitiveness, enabling it to handle a growing volume from Asia, North America, and Europe.

"The project will increase the port's capacity, and its modernisation will enable it to handle larger container ships and move more cargo," said Jean-Marc Aboussouan, chief of the infrastructure division in the IDB's Structured and Corporate Finance Department.

"The improvements will increase Kingston Terminal's competitiveness and its ability to handle the expected growing volume of trade once the expansion of the Panama Canal is finalised," he added.

The IDB said the investments will be implemented under a 30-year concession contract to a French consortium led by CMA CGM, the third largest container shipping company in the world, and CMA Terminals Holding, a large worldwide port operator.

The contract provides for management of the improvements and operation and maintenance of the container terminal, it added.