Kingston Terminal divested
The Government has divested the Kingston Container Terminal (KCT) to Kingston Freeport Terminal Limited (KFTL).
Prime Minister Andrew Holness, made the announcement at a press briefing at Jamaica House in St Andrew yesterday.
He said financial closure was attained on Thursday for the concession agreement between KFTL and the Port Authority of Jamaica. KFTL assumed operation of the KCT effective midnight Friday.
Holness said all fees required under the concession had been paid over to the Port Authority.
The agreement between the Port Authority and KFTL is for the development and expansion of KCT, Jamaica’s main trans-shipment port. The agreement gives the KFTL a 30-year concession with the right to finance, expand, operate, maintain, and transfer the container terminal at the end of the period.
The prime minister said KFTL has secured all the funding required for the first phase of the capital works, which will see the dredging and deepening of the harbour.
“Under the concessionary agreement, the new concessionaires will finance (expansion) works without recourse to the Government’s resources and without any Government guarantees,” he informed.
The agreement also commits KFTL to a second phase of development to expand capacity and further deepen the access channel and basin.
Holness said the development was timely, coming on the heels of the opening of the expanded Panama Canal.
“That expansion was undertaken to facilitate the transit through the Panama Canal of much larger shipping vessels, which are now being built due to the evolutions in hull designs and manufacturing technologies,” he noted.
All 834 employees of the KCT were made redundant and relevant payments made on June 30. KFTL has offered employment to all eligible workers and will take on additional technical staff.
Holness saluted the former employees for their contribution to the development of the terminal and encouraged them to take advantage of new opportunities.