St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris has thrown his support behind the local companies jointly funding the construction of the second pier at Port Zante.

The syndicate arrangement between the four local companies was revealed at the contract signing ceremony between the St. Christopher Air and Sea Ports Authority and the prime contractor for the project, Canadian Commercial Corporation.

The news comes after Minister for Infrastructure, Mr. Ian Liburd, announced the second pier crossing in early November.

The St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank has committed US$34 million to the project, the largest amount of funding from the four local entities.

The St. Kitts and Nevis Social Security Board pledged US$7 million, St. Kitts and Nevis Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation has provided US$5 million and the St. Kitts and Nevis Trading and Development Company has committed US$2 million.

The project is worth an estimated US$48 million.

During a press conference on November 29, the Prime Minister said his team has every confidence in the companies who have partnered to fund this development.

“The effort at bringing on board a number of player locally to participate is the right one. It is the right one that has the support of every thinking person that evaluated the proposal so the Government feels absolutely comfortable that this pier is going to start [and] the transformation which it will bring to the country will be applauded by all.”

The 2017-2018 cruise ship season is projected to see a total of 569 cruise ships in St. Kitts and Nevis, with more than 1.5 million passengers – a record for St. Kitts and Nevis.

Work on the new cruise pier project is set to begin by the end of the first quarter of 2018, to be completed within 18 months for the 2019 cruise season.