Millions in cost overruns allegations made in second cruise pier construction

Construction costs for the second cruise pier at Port Zante have apparently ballooned.

Former Minister of Tourism and National Security, Dwyer Astaphan is alleging that an additional US$7 million (EC$18.9 million) will be needed for more piles, more steel and more concrete to complete the construction of the second cruise ship pier.

Astaphan, while speaking on his weekly program stated that the new development was “a very serious matter that requires a reconciliatory approach and not arrogance

“The pier needs to be completed on time. The contractors are saying they need an additional US$7 million in overruns but if a compromised arrangement is not reached, then the contractors can stop work, they can pull out their equipment and we have an unfinished project,” said Astaphan, who disclosed he has been informed that the contractors through one of their top officials tried talking with Minister (Hon Ian Patches Liburd), at a meeting recently as did a top official of the Canadian Commercial Corporation, “and the minister was very undiplomatic and tactless and insulting towards them.”

It is not yet known whether the consortium of investors in the pier project – the Sugar Industry Diversification Programme (SIDF), Social Security, National Bank and TDC have been made officially and fully aware of the US$7 million additional cost to the project, Astaphan intimated.

He opined that if the Government of St Kitts and Nevis has to absorb the US$7 million in order to get the pier completed, it has to be done

The second cruise pier was projected to cost US$ 48 million. The National Bank is providing the bulk of the financing, with $34 million. The Social Security Board is providing $7 million while the SIDF and TDC are contributing $5 and $2 million, respectively.

The initial cost forwarded for the second cruise pier under the previous administration was just about US $ 32 million but the cost mushroomed significantly.

Top representatives from each of the financing institutions formalized the deal for the capital project and construction began in June 2018 and is expected to be completed in September 2019.