Give it another two months and construction will begin on North Abaco’s Port Development, a multi-million dollar joint venture project to be funded by the government and the Export Import Bank of China.
The $39 million construction phase is estimated to be roughly two years and is set to be a major boost to the island’s economy.
Driving home the benefits of the development, Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis on Monday told a packed hall of Abaco residents that completed there will be a modern infrastructure transportation facility to facilitate international trade and new business revenues.
““It will engage Bahamian service providers and suppliers. And of course we expect our trade between China and Bahamas to improve,” he said.
Felix Chang, principal of China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) said a minimum of one third of the project’s investment would be shared throughout the community directly and indirectly.
Already more than 70 local companies have been contracted for works in the past months leading up to construction start, according to Mr. Chang.
“There will be job opportunities, skills training, the purchase of construction material and equipment supplied locally,” Mr. Chang said. “There will be openness and transparency, community activities, Bahamian and Chinese cultural efforts and sponsorship of sports competition.”
Residents of Abaco were urged to listen out for more news on an upcoming job fair that will be hosted by CHEC as the team looks to engage more Abaconians on the project.
Deputy Prime Minister Davis told the town hall attendees that his ministry was working along with CHEC to ensure the development happened on time, on schedule and used the maximum amount of Bahamian services.
“The topographic and hypo graphic surveys for dredging have been completed, the geo technical work has been completed and the coastal engineering work has been completed,” he said.
“We expect them to be in our ministry in the next three weeks for our sign off. So, starting within the next six weeks, I can say now, there will be some hiring, very minimal hiring…so be ready for the ‘go’ sign in six weeks time.”