The Port of Belize: it's been in receivership since 2012, but if Waterloo Investment Holdings, one of the Ashcroft Group of companies, gets the necessary green-lights from the Government, the Port will get a massive multi-million dollar upgrade.
Waterloo Investment Holdings is poised to become the next owner of the Port. They have a $200 million-dollar development plan to expand the facility with a deeper channel to accommodate bigger cargo ships. This company also wants to build a cruise terminal facility on the Port's property, and they say that the facility would accommodate shore-side berthing of cruise ships. You'll know that currently, Norwegian Cruise Line's Harvest Caye is the only port of call in the country that has a berthing facility for cruise ships. If this Waterloo development is allowed to take place, the upgraded Port of Belize would become the second.
Today, Dr. Dionne Chamberlaine of Chamberlaine Consulting, which is currently handling public relations and community consultations on behalf of the investors, hosted a 2-hour long video conference meeting with several media houses to introduce the project, which is currently at EIA phase.
Here's a short excerpt of that presentation in which Chamberlaine outlined a few elements of this proposed development for the Port:
Of course, the press used the entire duration of the video conference meeting to question the hosts on a wide range of topics surrounding this proposed development, including the possible environmental impacts. The media houses participating in the meeting were not allowed to record the session, and the hosts assured us that they would provide a recording of the entire meeting. But, perhaps predictably, they had some sort of technical failure on their end, and no recording was actually produced.
This presentation that we shared with you about the project was a re-recording of Chamberlaine's formal presentation, which she gave during the meeting - 5 stars for lameness.
Cruise port to be built in Port Loyola by Waterloo Holdings valued at US$200 Million
Waterloo Investment Holdings of the Ashcroft Alliance has announced plans to build a USD$200 Million cruise ship port facility at Port Loyola, which would be able to berth 4 Oasis class cruise ships, with 5000 passengers each. Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow first hinted at this development back in 2016. The project now awaits for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to be approved. This will happen whenever the State of Emergency is lifted; at which time Waterloo Holdings would also prepare an Environmental Compliance Plan (ECP), and obtain the mining and dredging licenses to dredge 1.5 Million cubic metres of sediment to deepen the channel. This sediment would be used to reclaim the land, where the tourist village would be built.
The Port of Belize will also be expanded to a bulk cargo handling facility, replacing the existing Port of Belize facility. The project would dredge 7.5 million cubic meters to deepen and widen the channel, of which 1.5 million would be used as landfill for the land reclamation, adjacent to Jane Usher Boulevard. Dionne Chamberlain of the Chamberlain Consulting presented this project to the media in an online conference this morning.
Click here to read the rest of the article and see LOTS more maps and visual materials in the San Pedro Sun
Re: The Port Loyola Cruise Plan
#541870 04/23/2004:36 AM04/23/2004:36 AM
Last night on the news, we told you about the public unveiling of a major development upgrade that has been proposed for the Port of Belize. The Ashcroft-related company, Waterloo Investment Holdings Limited, has presented a 200 million US-dollar package to the Government of Belize for the Port's facelift, which would expand bulk handling and agricultural shipping capabilities. Also, Waterloo wants to build a cruise terminal on the Port's property. If it is given the necessary government clearances, this cruise port addition would become the country's second facility that is able to accommodate shore-side berthing of cruise ships.
But, this proposed development is in its very preliminary stages. During our interview today with Tracy Taegar-Panton, the Minister of State with responsibility for Investment, Trade, and Commerce, we asked for a few more details on the status of this proposed development. Here's what she told us:
Hon. Tracy Taegar Panton - Minister of State, Investment, Trade And Commerce "So, there are two projects that the Waterloo Group had proposed, first, a cruise ship terminal, similar to what you see at the Fort Street Tourism Village. And they also looked at the possibility of expanding the port facilities, so that we can have better facilities to ship our goods from. Both projects are under review by the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Investments. There is some preliminary information that needs to be provided to the Committee. Waterloo is aware of what information needs to be provided. I can tell you that the Government is clear that one project cannot happen in isolation of the other. We need to improve the port facilities in Belize City. We want to keep, obviously, our stevedores employed. That's a big consideration for us as a Government. And we need to look at a docking facility for cruise ships, whenever that industry comes back. And so, both projects are under consideration. We are waiting for additional information, and at that time, a determination will be made."
Reporter "Can you tell us what is the status of the ownership of the Port? Is it still in receivership? Has it been passed to the investment company? We were told that they have acquired some of the assets, including the land."
Hon. Tracy Taegar Panton "You have maybe a little bit more information than I have. As far as we know, it's still in receivership, and soon as we get clarification from the investors, we'll be able to report on that."
As soon as we learn more about the project, we'll update you.
$200 Million Port Loyola cruise port consultation underway
Chamberlain Consulting, the firm handling social engagement for the Port of Belize Ltd., held another round of stakeholder consultations today regarding the substantive Port Loyola Expansion project.
The consultation, which brought together members of the creative sector from across the country, forms a part of a wider process required by the Department of the Environment (DOE) for the company's Environmental And Social Impact Assessment.
The forum was used to gain feedback on the project, which is geared towards upgrading the port to allow for berthing of larger cruise ships and a bulk handling facility. Dr. Dionne Chamberlain-Miranda explained that the consultations done thus far have included government ministries, municipal bodies, NGO's, schools, utility companies, private citizens, Belizeans within the diaspora, and representatives from the tourism sector, just to name a few.
Key features of the project include a capacity to serve an annual visitorship of 2.5 million and a new access road to be built connecting the port to the George Prince Highway, which will allow tourists easier access to activities outside of the city while ensuring that the influx of people does not become a traffic problem for Belize City.
Dr. Chamberlain-Miranda noted that once the assessment gets approval from the DOE, the company will move on to public consultations to gain feedback from a wider cross-section of people and groups who will potentially be affected or benefit from the project and then to the Environmental Compliance Plan, which gives the company the green light on an environmental perspective. The project promises to bring much-needed jobs and growth to the Belizean economy.