China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) continues to carry out community activities in North Abaco including providing Mandarin classes as well as being open to public tours of the site.
On February 18, CHEC conducted a walking tour of the still under construction site to a group of Commerce Class students from S. C. Bootle High School along with their teacher Mr. Julian Rolle, where they were shown the progress and given information regarding the project.
On their tour the class, including one principle and seven students, arrived at the site where the senior Engineer, Francis Clark along with China Harbour’s representatives, received them warmly. At the start Mr. Clark briefly introduced the North Abaco Port project and explained the technical and economic benefits.
Mr. Clark outlined that the North Abaco Port introduces a harbour with 10.8 acre basin and a 13.1 foot draft, a 20 slip Marina with a 2.8 acre basin with 6.58 foot draft and an international & domestic operation including Ro/Ro (roll-on/roll-off) ramps, warehouse, bulk material storage, landing craft warehouse, administration building housing Customs, Immigration, Port Department and other government offices.
He also spoke of the economic benefits. He said an Economic Analysis took a range of inputs and combined them over a 20 year time frame to generate an Internal Rate of Return (IRR), with higher percentages showing benefits, which indicated that the port would result in a positive IRR for Greater Abaco, and If only the development in and around Cooper’s Town is attributed to the Port, then the IRR will be at a minimum of 18%
He added that the new port would result in reduced travel time & transportation cost for freight to North Abaco from Marsh Harbour and would lead to an increase in employment and the value of development projects that remain in Abaco.
He noted that the Marina accommodation for yachts and cruising boats would also benefit North Abaco.
After speaking to the students, Mr. Clark took the class on a tour of the site giving the class a general picture of the port project.
After an hour and half tour of the site, all of the class the guests were treated to a big lunch of Chinese food prepared by CHEC for them.