Conservation Strategy Fund - Technical Study - Economic comparison of alternatives to building a port on Goat Islands


The Conservation Strategy Fund (CSF), announced the findings of a cost-effectiveness assessment of four potential sites for the proposed transshipment port that China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) is proposing to build. CSF’s recommendations were presented to a group of senior decision-makers at a meeting in Octorber 2014 at the Courtleigh Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica.

“JAMAICA CAN HAVE ITS GOAT AND EAT IT!” So said Aaron Bruner, Senior Economist at Conservation Strategy Fund at a meeting at the Courtleigh Hotel, Kingston, Jamaica on 28th October 2014. He was reporting on the recently completed cost effectiveness study of alternative sites for the proposed China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) transshipment port and logistics hub. Following the on-going controversy about CHEC’s proposal to locate the port at the Goat Islands, the study posed the question of whether it would be economically and environmentally feasible to use another site. The results were an emphatic “Yes”. An international firm of port engineers - Niras-Fraenkel Ltd - found that a port at least one site - Macarry Bay in southern Clarendon - would be more than $200 million dollars cheaper to build than an equivalent port at the Goat Islands. CSF’s analysis (see full study) showed that locating the port at Macarry Bay would also have a much lower environmental cost. The overall recommendation was that given the size of the investment and the extent of the potential environmental impacts, further studies are needed before further commitments are made to construction at Goat Islands. The study was funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund through a grant to Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation.