Guam port preparing for cruise ship industry

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An average of five cruise ships stops at the island's port in Piti annually. Guam has just joined the South Pacific Cruise Alliance (SPCA), becoming its ninth member.

With Adelup wanting to develop a small cruise ship industry for Guam, there is a need to retrofit the island’s commercial port. So is the Port Authority of Guam ready?

An average of five cruise ships stops at the island’s port in Piti annually, which requires the Port Authority of Guam to coordinate and reconfigure their shipyard each time in order to accommodate the influx.

However, with much bigger plans in store for Guam — realized through the establishment of a working group to strategize a small cruise ship industry for the island — the need to retrofit the island’s port is crucial and the Port Authority of Guam (PAG) is ready to take on the challenge.

According to PAG General Manager Rory Respicio, in an interview on NewsTalk K57 with Phill Leon Guerrero, Hotel Wharf is being upgraded to accommodate the small cruise ship industry, as well as establish a multi-purpose port. All these add up to just under $24 million, $10 million of which has already been provided through the Tiger grant.

“But beyond that, that $10 million dollars will be below wharf work and there will be another $3.8 million dollars from the revenue bond grant to take care of security, fencing, the lighting at Hotel Wharf and then another $10 million dollars to take care of the access road in that area,” Respicio said.

The Port GM is looking at September of this year to begin obligating funding as soon as Hotel Wharf’s environmental assessment is completed and as soon as January 2020 to begin breaking ground on the project.

“We’re still moving forward on plans to retrofit Hotel Wharf to be a multi-purpose port. So when we have Hotel Wharf retrofitted and ready to accommodate cruise ship-type carriers, we can probably also look into home porting,” Respicio said.

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