Why the Chinese preferred the Goat Islands to alternative locations

Because of the size and scope of the the project, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) examined various locations and determined that the Goat Islands was the best and most cost effective location to achieve the objectives they contemplated

Originally CHEC was looking at the Fort Augusta site as the location of the port facilities as part of the Logistics Hub Project. They came back and said that the project they had in mind needed more space. They wanted to look at somewhere in the Portland Bight area. Several locations were explored with them through our engineering group. We looked at areas close to Port Esquivel, and Rocky Point, and Jackson Bay. The challenges in these locations involve exposure to the wind conditions and the cost associated with managing those ports.

In these locations, it is possible to have bulk cargo vessels that have less rigid timelines than container vessels which have to operate on very small time margins. Minutes matter. They have to get into the ports at a particular time, processed and get out at a specific time. The heavy wind conditions in these locations mean that alumina vessels often have to wait two days out at sea before they can come into the harbour. Also, the land available in those areas was not suitable and not sufficient.

Accordingly, we entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which was really an amendment to their original MOU which spoke about Fort Augusta. Under the amended MOU, CHEC would develop their ideas and bring them forward for consideration by the government.

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