Minister of Public Infrastructure and Transport Ian 'Patched' Liburd

By Loshaun Dixon

Basseterre, St. Kitts-Construction on the second cruise pier in St. Kitts and Nevis in set to begin in two months’ time according to Minister of Public Infrastructure and transport Ian ‘Patches’ Liburd’.

Mr. Liburd indicated that construction would begin in June and is expected to be completed a year later..

The Minister also indicated that some preparative work has already begun between him and the minister of tourism. He added that with the gains made in cruise tourism the second pier is needed to satisfy the traffic visiting the island.

“I have been on promotional tours with my colleague Lindsay Grant and a new cruise pier is a must,” he said.

Mr. Liburd stated that when they took office that and looked at he the designs they had a pier being designed for a 50 year cycle storm and changed it to a designed for a longer period and other additional features.

“They had a pier being designed for a 50 year cycle storm, one every 50 years and we had to change that because we now have 100 year cycle storms. So that meant redesigning, there’s also in terms of navigation an area to the east of the pier where it’s going to be built there was some embedded rock, so dependent on the weather some ships could not berth on the eastern portion of the dock and we thought that we should do some more dredging so that all ships could be accommodated here in St Kitts,” he said.

He however assured by 2018 the brand new pier will finish construction in Basseterre, adding, “We have engaged our consultants in terms of getting us our information memorandum, the terms and conditions have been negotiated with the C.C.C and SCASPA, a technical team was here in St Kitts I think last week, our contract negotiation award is scheduled for early June and construction will start in early June and we anticipate that by 2018 our construction period of 382 days, we’ll have a brand new pier.”

In 2016 in an interview with some members of the media Tourism Minister Hon. Lindsay Grant disclosed some ships had chosen to not visit St. Kitts as they refused to berth at the Deep Water Port in Bird Rock.

He added that he was however hopeful that construction on the new pier could begin very early in 2017.