At his most recent press conference, Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo shed light on the government’s longterm plans to establish a national deepwater port. The announcement came amid questions from reporters on daunting costs associated with such a venture.
Addressing the raised concerns, Jagdeo emphasized the need for meticulous consideration of various locations to ensure the success of the project.
Among the potential sites under scrutiny, he said, New Amsterdam has emerged as a leading contender. Jagdeo revealed that multiple parties, including an Indian group, have expressed keen interest in collaborating to develop the deepwater facility. However, the primary challenge facing the New Amsterdam location lies in facilitating access to the river for constructing the port. The focus, as articulated by Jagdeo, centers on the mouth of the river as the strategic spot for port development.
Jagdeo candidly addressed the financial implications of dredging, acknowledging the substantial costs associated with the process. He noted that as the government explores options, the daunting expenses of dredging are being factored into the equation.
Crucially, the viability of constructing the deepwater port hinges on the establishment of complementary infrastructure. Jagdeo underscored the importance of creating a comprehensive framework that goes beyond the port itself. He also outlined that for such an endeavor to be financially justifiable, an integral component would be establishing a connection to Brazil.
Vice President Jagdeo also elaborated on the rationale behind this approach stating that given the current import landscape, the government acknowledged that the proposed expenditure must be underpinned by a tangible and sustainable stream of benefit. The import activity alone would not suffice to warrant the significant investment required at this juncture. Therefore, Jagdeo emphasized the need to introduce a new avenue of advantage that can tip the scales in favor of the project’s feasibility. This novel stream of benefit, as put forth by Jagdeo, revolves around fostering trade ties with Brazil.
Jagdeo emphasised that the government’s decision-making process is rooted in a comprehensive feasibility study, aimed at ensuring a holistic evaluation of the proposed deepwater port. He stressed the importance of aligning the project’s objectives with practical gains and affirmed that the pursuit of international trade opportunities, particularly with Brazil, emerges as a key driver in rendering the venture economically viable.