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            october 16, 2019

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Jamaica seeks operator


Jamaica's Kingston Container Terminal (KCT) is to be privatised by way of concession, reports the Kingston Daily Gleaner.
KCT, a regional container transshipment hub with an annual capacity of 2.8 million TEU and an annual throughput of 1.1 million, is owned by the Port Authority of Jamaica and operated by subsidiary Kingston Container Terminal Services Limited.
KCT equipment includes 19 quay cranes, four super postpanamaxes among them; 30 stevedoring chassis; 28 yard tractors; 30 yard trailers; two 4,000-horse power tugs, 73 straddle carriers, 24 trailer trains, four train tractors and nine forklifts.
A team, chaired by former central bank governor Derick Latibeaudiere is "undertaking due diligence to develop the details of the transaction structure and will provide its recommendations to the government", said the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ).
The bank, which is the state's primary agent for privatisation programmes, said the transaction was at an early stage and the terms of the concession had not yet been settled.
"It is expected that this will be finalised during the bidding and negotiation stages," the DBJ said, adding that it is working with a 15-month timeline, said the Gleaner report.
The terminal is the biggest money maker for the Port Authority of Jamaica and projected to JMD11 billion (US$109.1 million) of the total revenue of JMD16 billion expected from cross-the-board port authority's operations this fiscal year.
Plans for the divestment of KCT were originally floated in 2009 by then Prime Minister Bruce Golding. Mr Latibeaudiere's team was established in January.
The DBJ said invitations had been extended to top global container terminal operators to prequalify for bidding.
"A shortlist of pre-qualified bidders will then be invited to submit bid proposals to assume the operation and further development of the port via a long-term concession," DBJ said.
"To date, a significant number of the invited entities, including local interests, have confirmed their interest."
Jamaica has used the concession model before for both the toll highway, now owned and operated by French construction company Bouygues and for the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, operated by the MBJ Airports consortium.
The highway is under a 35-year agreement that was negotiated by DBJ while the airport is a 30-year concession - both of which have been in operation now for a decade.

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