Royal Caribbean and Carnival cruise lines have agreed to a new combined investment of $350 million in the Grand Bahama Shipyard, Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis announced today in his wrap-up of the 2021/22 Budget Debate in the House of Assembly.
The Prime Minister pointed out that to understand the scale of this investment, the original investment and other investments to date in the Shipyard have totaled approximately $250 million dollars.
“This new investment will match this and exceed it by $100 million,” said Prime Minister Minnis on Monday 21 June 2021. The proposed infrastructure works will replace the two damaged docks with larger docks. The new docks will be capable of handling and servicing the largest ships in the world, said the Prime Minister.
Once the expansion is completed, the shipyard will be the largest civilian shipyard in the Americas. Prime Minister Minnis said the new investment will result in a notable increase in employment and economic activity on Grand Bahama and for local businesses throughout Freeport and the rest of the island.
“The Government and the owners of the shipyard will work on a new partnership agreement that benefits the people of Grand Bahama,” said the Prime Minister. The expansion works on the Grand Bahama Shipyard will begin as early as October 2021.
More details on the project will be presented in the weeks and months ahead, said Prime Minister Minnis. “This is a sign of progress, a sign of hope and a sign of confidence,” said the Prime Minister. “Grand Bahama, like the entire Bahamas, is on the way back. This is one of the biggest investments in Grand Bahama in its history.”
International investors are confident about the country’s prospects, said Prime Minister Minnis, pointing to a number of approved projects on New Providence, Grand Bahama and the Family Islands. The $37 million redevelopment of Sandals Royal Bahamian on Cable Beach has already started, with a projected timeline for completion of early November 2021. When the resort opens, it is expected to engage 1,000 workers. The well-known, 12-room Rock House Hotel and Restaurant on Harbour Island, Eleuthera is
set to re-open under new ownership on 15 November 2021 and will employ 30 Bahamians.
The $75 million Aqualina condominium project was recently approved by the Government. Aqualina will be located adjacent to the Baha Mar resort and will comprise 27 large three- and four-bedroom residences, each with an ocean view. At peak construction approximately 300 Bahamians will be employed. Aqualina is scheduled for completion in 2023. On Grand Bahama, the Government has approved the new $100 million Discovery Bay Project, which includes a boutique hotel and restaurant, residential estate lots, townhouses, bungalows and marina.