The Government of the Virgin Islands, through the British Virgin Islands Ports Authority (BVIPA), has secured $35 million for the Cruise Pier Expansion Project after closing with First Caribbean International Bank on Thursday afternoon.

The BVIPA Chairman Mr. Edward de Castro and Managing Director Mr. Claude O. Skelton Cline signed alongside Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE.

In addition to the senior public officials, BVIPA General Counsel Ms. Vareen Vanterpool, FCIB Interim Country Manager Mr. Valentine Fraser and Harneys’ Partner Mr. Johann E. Henry were also present.

Mr. Skelton-Cline said the Authority is pleased to accomplish another bench mark, thereby ensuring the project receives the necessary funding. The managing director said that coming to financial close secures the future of the project, which is progressing well.

He added, “We also want to continue encouraging the public to take advantage of the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) which is designed to help them invest in the new development.”

The SPV offer is categorized by Class A Preference Shares (to be redeemed after seven years), Class B (to be redeemed after ten years) and Class C (to be redeemed after fifteen years). The different classes of shares will offer annual dividends or returns of 5.75-percent, 6.75-percent and 8.45-percent, respectively.

Mr. Skelton Cline said, “Persons would have already seen the fencing, the new staging area for taxis and some demolition works on the landside. On the marine side, they’re mobilising and stockpiling the armour stone, and general site setup. By mid August, cranes and other machinery will be in full effect.”

The Cruise Pier Expansion Project involves the extension, strengthening and widening of the existing cruise pier. It also includes the development of a boardwalk, further development and enhancement of the excursion dock facility, dredging and land reclamation.

The highlight of the project includes a 5-acre landside development which will feature commercial, retail, entertainment and green spaces.

The Cruise Pier Expansion Project is designed to create a unique and modern cruise pier facility that delivers a memorable, world-class and environmentally compatible sustainable development.

The BVI Ports Authority is responsible for the Territory’s cruise infrastructure and facilitates port calls.