A consortium including Global Ports Holding won a
competition to redevelop and run the Prince George Wharf and related areas at
the Nassau cruise port in the Bahamas.
Global Ports Holding said its proposal will increase the
number of cruise berths from six to eight at one of the busiest cruise ports in
The plan calls for the construction of a new terminal
building, the creation of an event and entertainment area, investment into
improving retail, and the design and construction of new restaurants and bars, as well as integration of the port into Bay Street and downtown
The $250 million plan is expected to be a catalyst for the
wider redevelopment of downtown Nassau.
Global Ports Holding is a 49% owner in the winning
partnership, which also includes the Bahamian Investment Fund (49%) and the Yes
The group was picked over two competing bidders, one of
which was partly owned by the major cruise lines using the port, including
Carnival, Disney, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line. That group, which
also included a Bahamian investor syndicate called Cultural Village (Bahamas)
led by Bahamian banker Gerald Strachan, sought to keep the same number of piers
in Nassau but expand them to accommodate bigger cruise ships.
The winning consortium will have a 25-year concession at
Prince George Wharf. Global Ports Holding will take over operation of the port
from a government agency.
Global Ports Holding CEO Emre Sayin said that Nassau will
become the biggest cruise port in its portfolio and increase the number of
cruise passengers going through ports it manages by 50%.
Nassau has more than 3.5 million cruise passenger movements
Based in Turkey, Global Ports mostly runs ports in Europe
but has been making headway in the Caribbean. It recently won a long-term
contract to redevelop and run the port in Havana.
The cruise line partnership had criticized the winning
proposal, saying that expanding the number of piers could impinge on a turning
basin that cruise ships need to function effectively at the port.
Sayin denied that was a problem and said its bid was the
most innovative of the three submitted to the government.
In its statement, Global Ports said the Bahamian Investor
Fund will be open to small investors in the Bahamas and that the minimum equity
investment will be $1,000.
The Arawak Port Development Co. has been cited in Bahamian
press reports as the chief investor in the project besides Global Ports.
The Yes Foundation, the third partner in the group, "will
be established as a charitable entity promoting youth, sports and education for
Bahamians," Global Ports said.