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Published 2nd August 2016, 3:59pm

International engineering firm Royal HaskoningDHV, have been appointed by the Central Tenders Committee to provide Civil Engineering Consultancy Services for the proposed George Town cruise berthing facility.

The company, which is based in Holland, won the bid to undertake civil engineering design works, which will assist with determining the cost of the piers to achieve the least possible environmental impact.

Following government’s decision to review the original pier proposals, the concept designs were reworked by BAIRD and the Ministry of Tourism has received confirmation that repositioning and constructing the piers in deeper water would require less dredging and hence lessen the impact on the environment. The next stage in the process is to determine the performance standards and specifications of construction. The design works to be completed will better inform the costs of the project and this is expected to be known early in the fourth quarter of the year.

In the meantime, as directed by Cabinet, the Ministry continues to engage in productive discussions with cruise lines in relation to their involvement in the berthing facility and is in contact with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office regarding the progress being made on the project.

From the inception of the berthing facility project, the Ministry of Tourism has maintained that the proposed development would be in keeping with the Outline Business Case [OBC] and accord with established best practice conventions. The Ministry remains committed to that stance and continues to pursue a careful and methodical approach as the project moves forward.

“Following best practice takes time but provides the assurance that the decisions government is taking are based on sound principles, to achieve the best possible outcomes for the Country,” said Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism Hon. Moses Kirkconnell. “Once the civil engineering design works are completed and the detailed estimated cost to construct the piers is known, the Ministry will be in a better position to negotiate the best possible financing model with cruise lines. Our goal is to arrive at a formula in partnership with cruise lines that will not only fund construction of the piers, but will ensure that they are owned by the people of the Cayman Islands.”

“I am pleased with the steady progress being made and while we anticipate the discussions with cruise lines will be complex and sensitive, we will continue to keep the public informed of developments, he said.