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City to change port licence arrangement

The Corporation of Hamilton has issued a request for proposal regarding the operation of the Hamilton cargo docks.

A statement issued by the corporation said: “The port of Hamilton is a dynamic port facility. By supporting cargo ship calls it has become a key component in Bermuda's chain. Given this importance to the City of Hamilton and the wider Bermudian economy, the efficiency of the port is of ever more importance.

“Without frequent, reliable, and cost-effective shipping services Bermuda will be less competitive. Owing to the remoteness of Bermuda, it is essential our maritime transport connectivity is maintained at optimal levels both in terms of operational and financial performance.”

Patrick Cooper, city engineer, said: “The port arrangement based on a single stevedoring licence to encourage private participation has stood the port and the community well since it was introduced in the 1960s.

“As we look forward, port competitiveness remains critical and this may require important port improvements to be addressed in future to deliver both operational and cost improvements to safeguard our trading capabilities.

“It is for this reason that the City of Hamilton will be adjusting the port arrangement from an operational licence to a new arrangement that considers the cargo docks and the Front Street waterfront berths under a separate arrangement.

“The cargo docks will be based on a long-term concession that will include responsibility for security and maintenance of the infrastructure and superstructure components for the entire area of the cargo docks terminal.

This adjustment will allow for future improvements to be better planned and implemented.

“As with the previous stevedoring licence, the new arrangement will contain safeguards against abuse of the monopoly position but the flexibility gained from a change of this type will allow greater certainty for the concession holder to invest to improve performance and for port users to plan their arrangements for the long term.”

The corporation said that the Front Street waterfront area will be covered by a separate management licence restricted to cruise call operations only, while the cargo docks area will be contained in the concession agreement.

The general Front Street waterfront berths beyond this will be subject to a separate berth operational support permit, the Corporation said, adding that the tendering process for the Front Street waterfront area will be forthcoming.

Bid packages for the cargo docks RFP can be collected from the city's administrative offices in City Hall. The deadline for submissions is 3pm on December 19.

Stevedoring Services Ltd has operated the Hamilton docks under licence since 1966. The company's current terminal operating licence, granted in 2016, expires in February 2021.

Changed arrangement: the Corporation of Hamilton has issued an RFP regarding the operation of Hamilton docks (File photograph)

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Published September 24, 2019 at 9:00 am (Updated September 24, 2019 at 9:16 am)

City to change port licence arrangement

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