SABA–Saba is moving ahead with the Fort Bay Harbour project to extend the big pier and to build a new, bigger pier on the location of the current small pier. This will be funded by 15 million euros from the Recovery Fund the Dutch government made available for Saba after the 2017 hurricanes and 12.5 million euros from the Regional Envelope of the Dutch government.
The final result will be a sheltered harbour basin able to accommodate more and larger vessels. Traffic at the harbour will be separated to the benefit of the overall logistics. With a new harbour, Saba can attract more yachts and expand its commercial activities. Mooring multiple vessels at the same quay will become a possibility at some locations.
By making the big pier longer, larger cargo ships can be accommodated at the harbour. The smaller cargo ships sometimes have to make several trips to bring goods to Saba which means higher transportation cost for goods.
The renovation project is in the preparation stage and is by far the largest project ever, both financially and in size, on Saba said Commissioner Bruce Zagers in a meeting with Dutch State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops and other Dutch government offices at the Government Administration Building on Monday.
“Once the construction is completed, Saba will have a real harbour that can accommodate larger and more vessels. We are going to build back bigger and better,” said Zagers.
With the assistance of engineering firm Witteveen + Bos, different designs were looked at and several alternatives were studied. The wave conditions and soil conditions were researched. Work has now started on the final design which will most likely use a “caisson type” for the breakwater, which requires no pile driving. After the tendering and final preparations, actual construction is planned for the fourth quarter of this year.
The current harbour, since its construction in the 1970s, has undergone several upgrades and repairs. It was heavily damaged by the 2017 hurricanes. Despite immediate repairs in October 2017, the harbour remains very sensitive to waves, Project Manager Ton van der Plas explained.
Knops said: “I am impressed by what this project can bring for Saba’s development … It is important to invest in it because it is Saba’s lifeline. If larger cargo ships can moor, the transportation cost can go down, which is good for the Saba people.”
After the presentation, the delegation went to the harbour where Zagers gave more details on the project and harbour operations. They also visited the renovated harbour office, operational since early December.
Following the harbour visit, the delegation went to the landfill recycling building. The front and back of the building were damaged by the 2017 hurricanes and are being closed off. The new incineration equipment, expected soon, will produce less smoke and will enable safer working conditions at the landfill.
Bron: Daily Herald