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Gov’t committed to Harmony Cove project

Published:Thursday | June 9, 2022 | 12:09 AM

The Government has committed to seeing through to completion the long-awaited Harmony Cove project, a mega-sized casino resort in Trelawny.

The project is a 50-50 venture that will see each partner injecting US$25 million.

The Government’s interest is represented by Harmonisation Limited, which comprises the Development Bank of Jamaica Limited and the National Housing Trust.

Tavistock Jamaica Inc is the other partner in the joint venture.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service Dr Nigel Clarke said that the Government intends to provide an aggregate amount of up to US$25 million to meet the proposed equity injection.

He said the investment by the agencies will be made in tranches in line with an agreed and documented programme that will be matched with private investment in the Harmony Cove project of a comparable amount.

“The investment of each tranche will be linked to the fulfilment of practical and reasonable milestones that ultimately lead to third-party, private financing commitments being in place for the development of the project,” he said during Tuesday’s sitting of the House of Representatives.

Clarke was responding to questions posed by Opposition Spokesperson on Finance Julian Robinson.

The minister explained that when the funds are released, they are to be used for the final pre-development detailed design work in line with an agreed schedule of deliverables and governance plans that are consistent with projects of this nature and scale.

Further, he said the investment is awaiting the final details of the governance plan and milestones that are to be agreed by all parties.

The 2,300-acre property is being developed into a resort to include several world-class golf courses, a luxury spa, marina facilities, commercial developments, luxury hotels, private residences, and other amenities.

It will also include a hotel, casino, convention and entertainment centres, restaurants, and retail assets, and is expected to cost US$7.5 billion.

Harmony Cove is expected to create a major economic surge on the north coast through direct and indirect job creation and a boost in foreign-exchange inflows.

Robinson had also asked whether the joint venture partner, Tavistock Jamaica Inc, had fulfilled its obligations under the agreement.

In response, the minister said the parties to the existing agreement have a contractual duty to support the development of the project with capital contributions to fund the designs, to secure permits and incentives that would ultimately allow the project to raise financing and be developed.

Clarke added that specific aspects of the plans will be adjusted over time to reflect market requirements for resort tourism – changing legal and regulatory requirements and conditions in financing markets.

judana.murphy@gleanerjm.com