Cabinet Notes: The General Manager of the Port, the Architect/Planner, and the technician involved in designing the Dredge Bay Port Project reported to Cabinet on the plans that are being readied to transform the 10 acres of newly-created land, on the north side of Rat Island, into a hub of economic activity.
The site will also be used for domestic and regional ferries that will discontinue their use of the High Street Ferry Port; there will also be shops, restaurants and a small hotel constructed on the reclaimed land.
Pleasure craft will also be encouraged to use the safe harbour, and several slipways will be developed to allow for the mooring of craft.
The rum distillery that has owned and occupied land at the Rat Island site is being incorporated into the plan, along with a new road that will lead to and from that site; and, parking facilities for about 100 vehicles is being planned.
The plan has not yet been costed; however, that exercise along with the profitability of the development will form the second stage of the plan to be assessed by the Cabinet.
The executive body applauded the team for the magnificent planning that it presented.
The General Manager of the Port also reported that fewer vessels will, in the near future, be calling at the Port as shipping lines consolidate in the face of the pandemic.
More container cargo will nevertheless be offloaded in Antigua that will thereafter serve as a hub for distribution of containers to its immediate neighbours. A discussion of a regional CARICOM shipping line was also discussed, given the evolving reality.
A Cabinet Sub-Committee, led by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, was established to provide leadership and guidance during the special period now facing the state. A 20% reduction in cargo tonnage arriving at the Port is now experienced.
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