Transport and Works Minister, the Hon. Mike Henry, has announced plans for a dry dock facility to come into operation in the very near future. Minister Henry was speaking at the Diplomatic Week Conference held at the Courtleigh Hotel in Kingston recently. Minister Henry said that by March 2011, a floating dock will be operational at facilities at Harbour Head, Kingston. He said that the Ministry of Transport and Works, further to its goal under the Integrated Multi-Modal Programme, aimed at raising the profile of Jamaica as a nation serious about maritime development and trade, facilitated a partnership between German ship owners Harren & Partner, and the local private sector company, Jamaica Fruit and Shipping, to develop the docking facilities.

He explained that “The operation of the dry dock in Jamaica is expected to bring not only more ships to our shores and the revenue associated with that operation, but also to provide training for Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) cadets, and employment locally, involving industry best practices and standards”.

Jamaica is seeking to establish itself as an International Shipping Hub, and ship repair services and capabilities are critical to this development.  Minister Henry added that numerous business surveys have found that investment decisions of maritime firms in a particular area are driven by the presence or absence of complete, timely and good quality maritime services.