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CHEC still eyeing Goat Islands project

Published:Wednesday | September 3, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer

Regional Director of the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) Zhongdong Tang has signalled that his company is determined to proceed with the ambitious Goat Islands project and has never harboured any thought of jumping ship.

Tang told The Gleaner that CHEC has always acknowledged the value of the environmental concerns being advanced.

He said that CHEC has given assurances that the necessary geotechnical studies would be carried out. "We never issued that threat," he declared.

Tang said he was always aware that environmental concerns were triggering discussions in Jamaica.

He stressed that CHEC intends to build the proposed logistics hub of the region at Goat Islands.

"We never intend to give up building the new container terminal in the Goat Islands."

He said the intervention of CHEC in Jamaica's business affairs was aimed at propelling the country's economic and business prospects on to the international scale. "This is intended to boost up your economics," he added.

Tang said that it was also recognised that the concerns floating around the Goat Islands project would have caused a setback as there were several geotechnical studies that would have to be done.

"So it's not that the authorities are delaying. It is a kind of partnership in which we are doing some things, while the authorities are doing some things," he said.

Tang said this was in keeping with the Vision 2030 plans - the road map for making Jamaica the place of choice to live, work, and raise families and do business - that greeted him when he came to Jamaica.

"So we think about what we can do for Jamaica and what kind of contribution we can make to this country since we are here," said Tang.

He disclosed that he foresees transportation to and from Jamaica increasing significantly when the hub becomes a reality after the Panama Canal has been enlarged.