The multi-million dollar port planned for Toco has been shelved for now.
Head of the National Infrastructure Development Company Ltd (NIDCO) Herbert George said that plans for the port have been “shelved” because of the COVID-19 virus.
“What I can briefly tell you about the Toco port is that it is one of our projects that has been shut down due to COVID-19,” George said.
“So far we have done and submitted the EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) to the EMA Environmental Management Authority), it is over to them to deal with our CEC (Certificate of Environmental Compliance) application,” George said.
On April 14, the EMA issued a submission for public comment for the CEC on behalf of the NIDCO and the Ministry of Works. According to that document, the Ministry of Works is “desirous of setting up a modern, multipurpose port facility on 19.9 hectares of land.”
The application is for the dredging, land reclamation, earthworks and infrastructural works at Grand Anse Bay.
The application, gazetted in April said that the administrative record for the project was available for viewing from Tuesday, April 14 to May 22 at the EMA’s website.
Back in October, George had said that work on the port was scheduled to start just before the 2020 general election.
The Government had given NIDCO full responsibility for the project.
He said then that in the third quarter of 2020 one is expected to see “boots on the ground on that project.” Construction of the port which will be done in phases is expected to take 30 months.
Works Minister Rohan Sinanan confirmed that the project had stopped. He said that it was one of a few projects to be shelved as Government focuses on dealing with the fall-out from the coronavirus.
“The ministry will be giving an update on all its projects, it’s status and projected timelines soon,” he said.