Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 6th 2014 Contents BG4 | NEWS
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt MARCH 2014 • WEEK ONE
Not far from where the
Government is plan-
ning to build a US$500
port in La Brea, Deo
director of Labidco Port
Services Ltd, already
operates a deepwater port in La Brea.
In a February 20 interview, Gosine said his
proposal to develop a neighbouring transship-
ment port will cost his investors only US$100
million. The port will be able to handle up to
2.5 million containers annually.
The Business Guardian journeyed to La Brea
to interview Gosine and view the world-famous
Rowan Gorilla III jackup drill ship, which is
under maintenance at Labidco.
The privately-owned Labidco, Gosine said,
has been awaiting Government approval to
build the port since 2007 when he first made
the proposal to the then government. He said
his trans-shipment port will be built at no
expense to taxpayers, without incurring US$750
million in debt to the Chinese government,
and without causing commercial vehicular
traffic to pass through residential parts of La
He said his efforts to get a container port
built in south Trinidad date back to when Ken
Valley was minister of trade.
About three years ago, he said, he
approached the landlord, the National Energy
Corporation (NEC), with the proposal to build
the port, and has "since made presentations
to the Ministry of Trade, the Ministry of Plan-
ning and Sustainable Development, and the
Ministry of Transport."
Asked who came up with the idea first, he
said, "That was our idea. We were the ones
who started writing 11 years ago about the
need for a container port in South."
He said Valley had commissioned a study
by a French company to assess the feasibility
of the port, following which a meeting was
held at Cara Suites Hotel in Claxton Bay, and
"we proposed at that time, and we continue
to propose, that south can sustain another
container port, which was completely opposite
to what the conventional wisdom was at that
The conventional wisdom was that only
Chaguaramas could be such a port, he said.
Drawing on more recent documents, Gosine
presented the Business Guardian with a "Pre-
Feasibility Assessment of the Development of
the Brighton International Terminal" dated
September 16, 2013, done by Martin Associates
of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
The assessment said: "The proposed
Brighton International Terminal is well situated
to serve as a transshipment hub to handle the
increasingly larger containerships that will be
deployed through the Panama Canal after the
completion of the expansion of the Canal in
"In addition, the port will be able to provide
transshipment services to the ores originating
along North and East Coast South American
river ports, particularly along the Amazon, as
well as provide a platform to distribute LNG
throughout the Caribbean region and provide
bunkering services to vessels calling at the
"The port can also potentially serve as an
export loading port for hydrocarbon products
produced in the natural gas-based industrial
estates, and provide storage and distribution
services for grain imported into the Caribbean
region. While a detailed feasibility study and
master plan are the next step in the Brighton
International Terminal development process,
preliminary estimates suggest that the terminal
could generate a positive cash flow of more
than US$8 million annually."
T&T could use two ports
Asked if he would have to compete with
the government port, Gosine said, "T&T could
use two container ports."
Gosine said the port now provides employ-
ment to around 400 people but, on comple-
tion, the much larger Brighton International
Terminal could provide as many as 3,000
direct jobs and thousands more indirectly.
Ports have a five-six times multiplier effect
with jobs, he said.
Gosine said the international terminal would
start with a Phase I investment of only US$100
million on 60 acres of land.
"You build into your demand," he said,
warning against grandiose plans unsustained
by profit. He said the first shovel could be in
the ground within eight months and the Prime
Minister could be breaking a champagne bottle
on the first ship within two years.
He said his proposal is the only one that
would allow the mega-heavy commercial
trucks commuting to and from the port to
stay clear of residential areas because his port
will be within the industrial estate that has
easy access to the north-south highway. "At
any other location, you ll have to run com-
mercial traffic with residential traffic, and that
is a no-no," he said.
Gosine said it will be the largest port in the
country with a throughput of 2.5 million con-
Labidco plans 2.5 million
container port in La Brea
We were the ones
writing 11 years
ago about the need
for a container
port in South.
Continued on Page 5
PHOTOS: TONY HOWELL
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