Bahamian group to control Abaco port

A rendering of the North Abaco Port Project.

A Bahamian group – North Abaco Port Company (NAPCO) – is being considered by government to manage and operate the newly built container port in Coopers Town Abaco, according to Transport and Local Government Minister Frankie Campbell.

The state-of-the-art North Abaco Port project is a partnership between the governments of The Bahamas and the People’s Republic of China.

The $39 million port was constructed by China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) and facilitated by the Ministry of Works and Urban Development.

Campbell told Eyewitness News Monday that he supports a Bahamian group operating the facility and used the Arawak Port Development as a prime example.

“We ought to consider a Bahamian group… The Arawak Port Development that is being led by a Bahamian group and they are ranked number one in the region, which is a clear indication that we have the know-how and the competencies necessary to run a port,” Campbell said.

While the Abaco port has not yet been handed over to The Bahamas government, Campbell said, he anticipates that it will be in “short order.”

“There were one or two things that the Ministry of Works asked them to fix that were minor in nature,” he said although he did confirm that project was complete.

A representative from NAPCO told Eyewitness News that they hope to lease the port and create employment opportunities for residents.

“This move will create over 300 jobs in the first 10 years and hundreds more spin off opportunities,” according to a statement released by NAPCO.

“Subsidiary business can be developed for Bahamians, including construction and transport companies.”

NAPCO reportedly has a combined experience of over 30 years in the maritime industry and anticipates that if successful, will boost the confidence for Bahamians in the local economy.