Prime Minister Gaston Browne and Chairperson of the Port Authority Mary-Clare Hurst signed the US $255 million design and construction agreement yesterday.
On the recommendation of the Embassy of China, CCECC beat out several other competitors – including Kylin International and China Harbour Engineering Company – to win the project bid.
CCECC constructed the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, the new airport terminal and the Five Islands Secondary School.
The prime minister explained that government has not yet gained final approval for a loan from the China Exim bank to pay for the project. Browne said the details of the loan have not yet been finalised.
“This loan request, obviously, is a process and will take a few more months for us to get approval, but from all indication, we will get approval,” he said.
“They (China) are prepared to support this loan to help us build capacity, they will give us a period of moratorium of five years, even though we asked for 10; I hope we get 10.”
Browne said the Port Authority will take advantage of the moratorium, where no repayments have to be made, to build capacity and a steady revenue stream from which repayment will be made.
The prime minister also asked Ambassador to China Brian Stuart Young to “push” for a loan repayment period of 40 years.
Chairperson Hurst said as part of CCECC’s contract, they agreed to advance the government US $4 million for the sweeping of the harbour to remove built up silt. Another company, Ansa McAl has been contracted for the sweeping.