Time is Running Out for Proposed Port of Belize Expansion

Posted By: Marty

Time is Running Out for Proposed Port of Belize Expansion - 05/15/20 11:45 AM

A mega project in the tourism industry has been on the drawing board for years. Waterloo Investment Holdings is proposing to invest two hundred million dollars to expand the Port of Belize so that much bigger cargo ships can come in through a deeper channel. But the investment has been languishing for some time going from committee to committee. This morning, Lord Ashcroft said time is running out.

Lord Michael Ashcroft

“It is a proposal to handle the bulk handling and cruise terminal. Because the cruise liners are saying that as their ships get bigger in the future that within 2 to three years time they don’t necessarily want to have to come to ports that have tender their passengers in. So the time is running out for Belize. The discussions on doings something here’s been going on for a number of years and of course with the pandemic on and the uncertainty that there is. This is project that there are three projects running, you have the Feinstein one up at Stake Bank but that is a tender back in To Belize City and you have a Gegg one farther down the coast which I suspect will have difficulty financing and you have the one from Waterloo but the project is of such a size that unless and until it can be embraced by a government to work together to do something it’s probably going to babe very difficult to do.”

Channel 5
Posted By: Marty

Re: Time is Running Out for Proposed Port of Belize Expansion - 06/25/20 10:40 AM

The Waterloo for Waterloo’s Big Port Plan?

British-Belizean billionaire Lord Michael Ashcroft has been in the country for months, perhaps hiding out from the COVID outbreak in the UK, and maybe trying to soften up his image just a little. We've seen him profiling all over Twitter like an "accidental tourist" - and even loading himself unto a "Maria Bus" outside Orange Walk.

And while Ashcroft is attempting some on the ground image rehabilitation, he could be cruising for another head on collision with the Barrow Administration next week. Reports say that the CCJ's decision on Government's takeover of two registries will be coming down next week. That's the IMMARBE and International Business Companies Registries, formerly owned and operated by the Ashcroft alliance, until government acquired them in June of 2013.

The matter has been in court for years, and the final judgement is expected from the court of final appeal next week. If government loses, the damages could be in the tens of millions of dollars.

And with that heavy matter hanging in an election year, and Ashcroft making it known that he's looking forward to seeing a new Prime Minister in office, it seems the UDP Cabinet is not inclined to entertain the proposed port plan from Waterloo Investment Holdings Limited. As we have reported that 200 million US-dollar package is for a Port of Belize makeover, expanding bulk handling and building a cruise terminal on the Port's property.

It's a big plan, but unofficial reports to 7News suggest that it did not find favour in Cabinet, which rejected it yesterday. We could not get comment or confirmation of this from the Prime Minister of the or the Minister of State in the Ministry of Investment.

We hope to get comment from the PM when he hosts a virtual press conference tomorrow.

Channel 7

Posted By: Marty

Re: Time is Running Out for Proposed Port of Belize Expansion - 06/27/20 11:42 AM

Confirmed: Waterloo DOA

Today was House Meeting Friday in Belmopan - and while enough sparks flew across the floor, we start outside the house where we interviewed the Prime Minister about a number of matters of pressing national interest.

First, there's the proposed investment at the Port of Belize by Michael Ashcroft's Waterloo Investment Holdings Limited. That 200 million US-dollar proposal is for a Port of Belize makeover, expanding bulk handling and building a cruise terminal with on shore berthing

Two nights ago we told you about reports that Cabinet had rejected the proposal. The Prime Minister confirmed it today - but, for the PM, who is always lavish in his explications, he almost seemed to be biting his tongue on this one:

"Waterloo, I'm told that it was deliberated in the cabinet earlier this week. What is the status with that investment proposal?"

Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"Government is not prepared to proceed with it at this stage. I don't want to get in the details of the deliberations in cabinet and this not ought to be taken as saying anything more than at this juncture for all sorts of reasons. Cabinet did not feel that we ought to proceed. I really don't want to take it beyond that."

Channel 7

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