After a notable absence from the public, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley finally addressed the issues headlining national discourse over the past few weeks.
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More can be done to make Trinidad ports more efficient
The following are some points that reflect my views on a container port in the Labidco area:
It is clear that neither the port of Port-of-Spain nor the Point Lisas port can accommodate a modern container facility.
In the case of port of Port-of-Spain adequate space is a challenge. As far as the Point Lisas port is concerned, the heavy sea traffic, limitations on the turning basin and distruction of mangroves create a significant challenge to expansion and accommodation of ships in excess of 15,000 teu's (20-foot equivalent unit).
If Trinidad is to attract the expected large ships with the potential of high volume of transshipment containers it needs to develop a Port with the following basic capabilities:
1) Sufficient acreage to accommodate a minimum of 3 million teus throughput;
2) Adequate equipment and skilled employees to ensure a minimum of 60 container moves per ship hour;
3) Offer a competitive transshipment cost per move to shipping companies.
In my view, only a totally private entity can provide the above.
Plipdeco can expand where Berth # 5 is and build three additional berths Berth 6/Berth 7/Berth 8. These three new berths will take the excess cargo that is now calling at that port & allow more vessels to berth on arrival and not swing at anchor, awaiting a berth.
A new road should be built into Chaguaramas along the shoreline to accommodate any expansion plans for ports in the area.
The port of POS
1) Privatisation of the port of POS is the answer, but since it will not happen in my lifetime, we must look elsewhere - the port of Kingston/Jamaica is privatised as the Government there seeks to position Jamaica in the global logistics chain, to take advantage on the opening of the expanded Panama Canal in 2015.