Port Expansion & Renewal Project
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Taken from the Barbados Port Handbook 2006-2007
A major programme of expansion and reform costing BD$100 million is under way to ensure the port's continuing status as "best in class".
The project follows a special study in the 1990s which indicated that Bridgetown was coming up to a crossroads.In order to meet the needs of the 21st century, the port must renovate its infrastructure and expand on its core business areas of cargo handling and the cruise sector. The study also showed that the Port of Bridgetown could be an engine for national economic growth by generating more cargo and tourism traffic.
The port is already a key player in the local economy, providing the island with a commercial lifeline to the rest of the world.
The first stage in the reform process was the transformation of Barbados Port Authority into Barbados Port Inc. (BPI) in 2003. The institutional change in the port's administration was an important first step towards new investment and development. The expansion project began in early 2004 with the repaving of terminals and access roads.
For greater efficiency and safety of port operations, the port will be divided into four main zones. Cruise ship handling will be concentrated at the south of the port, cargo handling in the main port and bulk handling on reclaimed land to the north, while leisure craft will be accommodated at the Shallow Draft Wharf behind the main cargo quay.
In 2002 the main approach channel and the inner harbour were dredged to allow larger cruise ships like the 'Adventure of the Seas' and the 'Queen Mary 2' to call at Bridgetown. Depth was increased from 9.6 metres to 11.6 metres and spoil from this process was used to extend the cargo handling area in the main port, adding some 9 acres to the terminal.
In its first phase, the project involved a major renovation and reconstruction of existing facilities.
Renovation and repairs are being carried out on Berth 4, the Bulk Handling Berth, and the Shallow Draft Wharf.
In the near future the Cross Berth will be demolished and rebuilt to make it stronger and better able to cope with modern demands.
Elsewhere in the port, work will include a new gatehouse for the container park, a new mechanical workshop and conversion of part of the shallow Draught Wharf for tourism.
Other projects under way
Paving of the container yard behind Berth 4, the reclaimed area and access roads. Revetment work along Trevor's Way, landscaping of Trevor's Way from Bridgetown to the port entrance and new lighting and irrigation systems.
Sugar loading towers currently on the breakwater to be dismantled and relocated to new sugar facilities at the land Reclaimers site.
Conversion and reassignment of current bulk sugar facility. Conversion of molasses tank 'C' to a potable water storage system with ancillary pumping facilities. Replacement of existing water mains.
By far the biggest project is a US$ 20 million joint venture to buld a new cruise pier south of the breakwater.
The new pier will accommodate two large cruise ships simultaneously and will provide extra capacity to handle the expected rise in cruise arrivals.
In fact, the two berths will boost the port's daily passenger handling capacity by about 8,000. This will also allow the port to continue to separate its cruise and cargo handling operations in the interests of passenger safety.
BPI has received financing from several local commercial banks to assist in the project:
Caribbean Commercial Bank: BD$ 34 million
Butterfield Bank: BD$ 24 million
Barbados National Bank: BD$ 16 million
When complete, the upgraded facilities, both inside and outside the port, will bring key benefits to both port users and customers.