China-assisted St. John's Harbor project in Antigua and Barbuda completed
Published: Dec 11, 2022 01:50 PM Updated: Dec 11, 2022 01:42 PM
Photo: web

Photo: web

The renovation and expansion of St. John's Harbor, a project under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) between China and Antigua and Barbuda, has been completed, China Central Television reported.

The port will now be able to host multiple container ships and cruise ships simultaneously, transforming it into a massive transport hub for the region.

With the completion of the project, Antigua and Barbuda will have the largest passenger and cargo terminal in the eastern Caribbean region. With a total area of about 12,000 square meters, the harbor can accommodate two 10,000-ton ships at the same time, and it will have an annual capacity of 550,000 tons as the largest shipping hub in the region, providing a new source of growth for the country's economy.

The project kicked off on January 15, 2018. The project was contracted to China Civil Engineering Construction Corp with a concessional loan of 600 million yuan ($86.22 million) issued by the Export-Import Bank of China.

"With the assistance of the Chinese government, we will take a big step forward in port management, handling of large cargo and service abilities," said Darwin Telemaque, chief executive officer of Antigua and Barbuda Port Authority.

He noted that the St. John's Harbor is the only port in Antigua and Barbuda, and with the renovation and expansion project, the port will be able to enhance its handling capacity to serve larger ships.

Chinese Ambassador to Antigua and Barbuda Zhang Yanling said that the successful completion of the St. John Harbor, a landmark project under the BRI, will greatly enhance the smooth flow of passengers and freight, as well as internal and external connectivity in the region, bringing real benefits to local people and promoting the deepening and solid development of the BRI.

Antigua and Barbuda lies in the Caribbean region of Central America. In 2018, the country signed an intergovernmental memorandum of understanding with China on BRI cooperation.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in April said that China stands ready to work with Caribbean countries to promote peace and development, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and carry forward friendships among people of various nations.

China and Caribbean countries have set an example of mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit and common development among countries of varied sizes, Wang said during a foreign ministers' meeting held via video link with nine Caribbean countries that have diplomatic relations with China.

"China will continue to provide economic and technical assistance to Caribbean countries with no political strings attached, support key projects to Caribbean countries and develop projects benefitting local people's livelihoods," Wang said.

Global Times