IAN KEVIN RAMDHANIE
Caribbean Institute for Security
and Public Safety
An Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ten-page consultant's Port Rationalisation Study for T&T by Nathan Associates recommended the construction of the Brighton International Terminal instead of the Government's proposed "La Brea" port, which, according to the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) filing, is actually planned for the Rousillac area.
The Brighton International Terminal is the project of Labidco Port Services Ltd owned by New York state-based businessman Deo Gosine and other US investors.
The IDB said in its March 14 report it does not expect the widening of the Panama Canal to have the grand effect Trade and Industry Minister Vasant Bharath and others have forecast it will have on Caribbean ports.
"We do not expect meaningful change in T&T's regional position and its role as a secondary hub. Our main observations are: Panama Canal expansion will have small impact on the Caribbean region and even smaller than that on T&T ports," the IDB document said.
The IDB estimated T&T's container throughput by the year 2025 to increase at most to 1.12 million containers, at mid-range to 810,000 and, if growth is low, at 620,000. At present, T&T's throughput is 631,000 per year.
The Brighton International Terminal is being planned on the basis of a throughput of 2.5 million containers per year, at no cost to taxpayers with private investors' dollars. The Government's "La Brea" port is to be built with a US$500 million loan from the government of China that would add to the public debt taxpayers must repay at an interest rate of two per cent over the next