BRADES, Montserrat – Monday February 14, 2022, marked a major milestone in the government of Montserrat’s implementation of the Montserrat Port Development Project Phase 1.
The government of Monsterrat announced Meridian Construction Company Limited based in Tortola, British Virgin Islands (BVI) was the successful bidder in a competitive tendering process for the design and construction of the Port Facility in Little Bay, Montserrat.
The value of the contract awarded is XCD $90,188,920.00.
“The contract signing is expected to take place later this month, following which it is anticipated that construction work will commence during the first quarter of this year; approximately before March 31, 2022. The construction phase duration is estimated to be approximately 19 months.”
Montserrat’s minister of works, Dr Samuel Joseph expressed his delight at the progress made on the Port Development Project.
“This is a major step towards realizing the government’s longstanding goal of providing the people of Montserrat with a more efficient and resilient port facility as we continue to advance efforts towards Montserrat’s sustainable development,” Dr Joseph added.
“Reliable access has been a challenge for Montserrat following volcanic eruptions in the ’90s and this feat marks a major turning point for the people of Montserrat especially as it relates to access, tourism potential and trade. Additionally, during the construction phase we expect to see job creation for residents as Meridian Construction is expected to hire local persons and firms during its implementation of the project,” stated minister of works, Dr Joseph.
Project manager for the Montserrat Port Development Project, Dion Weekes, said getting to this point is a significant accomplishment given the various elements and challenges involved in a project of this nature, such as the financial constraints, fitness for purpose design obligations, the social and environmental impacts and mitigation measures.
“The Montserrat Port Development is the largest infrastructure project for the island in post volcanic times. The project’s outcome is to provide a port facility that improves the existing conditions, reduces downtime due to unfavourable sea conditions, and allows the berthing of larger ships, overall improving the efficiency of port operations,” expressed Weekes. “This is just the first phase and we can expect that over the years the project will continue to expand as it has been conceptualised in a modular format, allowing for different phases of development and expansion,” he added.
Meridian Construction Company Limited is one of two companies which submitted bids for the design-build contract. The company provides civil and marine engineering and construction services in the British Virgin Islands and the Eastern Caribbean. Most recently, Meridian Construction was the Caribbean marine contractor engaged by the St John’s Development Corporation Heritage Quay, Antigua to undertake the construction of the Heritage Quay Cruise Pier to accommodate the berthing of Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas on the northern side of the pier.
The Montserrat Port Development Project is being funded by the UK government through £14.4 million grant funding by the UK Caribbean Infrastructure Fund (UKCIF), which is administered by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). The UK government has further demonstrated their strong commitment to the Montserrat Port Development and has taken the decision to increase their support by an additional £13.9 million, to a total of £28.3 million for the proposed port development at Little Bay.
The announcement of additional funds being provided by the UK government can be found in Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) press release.
The government of Montserrat is providing £7 million in counterpart resources with financial support from the European Union under the EDF 11.
The implementing agencies from the government of Montserrat are the ministry of finance and economic management and the ministry of communication, works, labour and energy.