Jamaica intends to make use of its geographical advantage to attract a sizeable shipping base for boosting the bunkering sector, says the Minister of Science, Energy and Technology.
“We want to ensure that players in the bunker supply chain are internationally competitive and that the supply infrastructure can cater to an expanded demand for bunkering,” said Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley at the opening of the International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) Caribbean Conference in Montego Bay on April 18.
He pointed out that Jamaica is increasingly becoming a significant location for bunkering, driven by a number of factors.
These include the projected rise in shipping traffic from the widening of the Panama Canal and the country’s positioning as a major cargo centre; and the country’s distinction of being a premier cruise destination with more than 1.9 million cruise ship stopover visitors.
“[Jamaica’s maritime appeal provides] unparalleled opportunities for the establishment of a range of ancillary services to the global shipping industry, as we move towards making Jamaica a major maritime centre in the Caribbean,” he says.
“It is expected that bunker volumes will hit 1.9 million tonnes per annum by 2025, but only if the Government introduces the necessary legal and administrative framework.”
He reiterates the government’s support for the growth of the local bunkering industry, while welcoming both local and foreign investors.
“We see bunkering as an aggregate of ship-related services that will enhance the attractiveness and competitiveness of Jamaica as a premier shipping hub.”
Photo credit: Jamaica Information Service (Government)
Published: 23 April, 2018
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