Following bilateral discussions, Global Ports Holding (GPH) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of St Lucia for a 30-year concession, plus a 10-year extension option, for cruise ship operations.
Under the terms of the MoU, both parties have entered into an exclusive period during which, GPH and the St Lucia Government will continue to carry out extensive due diligence to work towards signing the concession agreement at a later date.
Following the execution of the concession agreement, GPH will use its expertise and operating model to manage St Lucia’s cruise port operations.
In addition, GPH will invest in an upgrade of the cruise port facilities, including the expansion of the existing berth in Point Seraphine to allow the handling of ‘Oasis’ class ships.
The retail experience will also be transformed, including through the redevelopment of the Vendor’s Arcade and other facilities at Castries.
As well as improving the overall cruise passenger experience in St Lucia, GPH said that it was committed to driving significant economic benefits for the local residents through the improvement of facilities in and around the port, such as Fisherman’s Village and driving increased passenger spend in the destination.
In 2019, St Lucia welcomed around 790,000 passengers. The completion of the extended pier and upgrade of the facilities are expected to lead to a rise in passenger volumes to over 1 mill in the medium term.
The concession’s signing is subject to both parties’ agreement on its final terms and is expected in the first half of calendar year 2023, although there can be no certainty, as to the timing or that the terms of a concession agreement will be agreed, the company said.
A further announcement will be made when appropriate, GPH added.