Jamaica minister gives update on port proposal

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Associated Press

Posted on October 29, 2013 at 9:01 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 29 at 10:04 PM

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — A Jamaican official says a study has reviewed the natural resources of the island's largest protected area as the government advances plans for a possible Chinese-financed port in the zone.

In a Tuesday update to Parliament, Transport and Works Minister Omar Davies said the study will be used as a guide for an environmental impact assessment.

A transshipment port is proposed for the Goat Islands off Jamaica's south coast. It would be in a protected zone that is home to three fish sanctuaries and a number of threatened animal and plant species. Environmental groups have strongly criticized the plan.

China Harbour Engineering Co. prefers the site for its proposed investment with a value of $1.5 billion.

Davies says a framework agreement could be in place by the end of January.

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