Work continues toward the opening of a new ship repair yard and maintenance facility in Kingston. Officials from the government and project sponsors highlight the strategic position of Jamaica near the key shipping routes that serve locations in the Caribbean and Central America and the ships that utilize the Panama Canal as beneficial to the yard’s expected success. It is believed that the new ship repair yard will bring high-paying jobs to the region and attract much-need foreign exchange to Jamaica.
The planned opening for the facility, which is known as the German Ship Repair Jamaica Shipyard, is scheduled for October or November 2023. It will feature a drydock that will be able to handle vessels as large as 20,000 tons and a wide variety of maintenance operations. There will be sufficient berth pace to house vessels as long as 705 feet as well.
The project’s partners, which include the Harren & Partner Group, a ship owner and operator, and the Kloska Group, a ship supplier, both of which are based in Germany, are working with the HAT-SAN Shipyard in Turkey and plan to invest some $37 million to develop this operation in Jamaica.
Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness noted that the investments being made to improve Kingston and develop it as a logistic hub, one of the chief gaps in shipping operations is being closed, encouraging more ships passing in the region to come to Jamaica. Currently, Jamaica receives about 3,000 port calls every year, with estimations that approximately 180,000 vessels operating in the region pass by Jamaica annually.
The project’s first phase will involve making the yard’s floating drydock, JAM-Dock 1, operational. The hiring and training of workers for the facility’s steel fabrication and engine workshops is also ongoing and is expected to include some 100 individuals.
The first customer for the shipyard has already been booked: the Mexican Giant, a heavy-lift vessel of 6,700 dwt, is scheduled for two weeks of maintenance work. It currently operates from the Mexican port of Ciudad Del Carmen in support of the Ichalkil oil field operated by Lukoil.