It is projected that the start-up date for dredging of the Kingston Harbour will be the third quarter of 2013. This was disclosed by Leader of Government Business in the Senate and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, the Hon. A.J. Nicholson during the sitting of the Senate on Friday (January 18). The Minister was responding to questions posed by Opposition Senator, Kavan Gayle, concerning the development and expansion of the Kingston Container Terminal. Senator Nicholson informed that discussions are proceeding with at least two overseas institutions, as well as the PetroCaribe Development Fund to finance the project. He added that the Port Authority is confident that financing will be obtained for the dredging. “The dredging of the Kingston Harbour is a priority of the government and is critical to the development and expansion of the Kingston Container Terminal and shipping services, to take advantage of expected opportunities from the completed expansion of the Panama Canal,” Senator Nicholson said. The Minister also noted that dredging of the Kingston Harbour should be completed by 2014. Senator Nicholson pointed out that currently there are plans to acquire three container handling equipment, 11 straddle carriers and six road heads for which contracts are on target to be awarded during this financial year, and are projected to be delivered to the Port in April, July, and October 2013, respectively. The dredging of the Kingston Harbour and expansion of the port facilities form part of a package of investment projects, aimed at developing the country’s shipping and logistics industry. Other projects include establishing a dry dock facility at Jackson Bay, Clarendon and a bunkering facility at Cow Bay at Yallahs, St. Thomas; construction of a cargo and maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) facility at Vernamfield, Clarendon; and the development of the Caymanas Economic Zone.