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Hylton hoping Chinese have alternative plan if Goat Islands fail
2013-08-30 17:22:55 | (0 Comments)
Anthony Hylton, the Government minister leading Jamaica’s Logistic Hub initiative is hoping that the protected Goat Islands are not the only location for Chinese investors wishing to build a port facility.
At a press conference today, Hylton said if assessments rule out the use of the environmentally-protected islands, it is hoped that China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) which plans to spend US$1.5 billion, will be open to other alternatives.
The Government has said it is seriously considering a proposal from CHEC to use the islands located off the St Catherine coast to create a port facility and a logistics and industrial park.
However, environmentalists and representatives of some civil groups have come out against the proposal, arguing that such developments will result in widespread destruction of the flora and fauna on the islands.
Hylton reiterated today that the Cabinet has not made any decision on the proposal, adding that an environmental impact assessment first has to be done.
He also said CHEC has a responsibility to bring evidence to support its proposal for the Goat Islands.
Lands on Fort Augusta were first earmarked for CHEC but Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller later announced that it was too small based on the scope of the Chinese company.
Meanwhile, Hylton says the Cabinet is to update the country, shortly on timelines for completion of several aspects of the hub.
He stresses that all aspects of the Hub will not be completed in time for the opening of the expanded Panama Canal in 2015.
However, he says the core aspects will be ready.
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Source: The Gleaner/Power 106 News
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