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Little revenue to be earned from leasing Ottley Hall Marina – Eustace

Little revenue to be earned from leasing Ottley Hall Marina – Eustace

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The revenue that the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines will receive from leasing the Ottley Hall Marina and Shipyard is a very small sum.

This is the view of Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace, who spoke on the issue on Monday during his weekly appearance on the New Times radio programme.{{more}}

On July 25, St Vincent Shipyard Ltd (SSL) announced that it had signed a lease with the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines in respect of the operations of the Ottley Hall Marina and Shipyard.

According to the release from the company, SSL comprises five local engineers and three persons from abroad who are shareholders. The agreement was signed on June 23, 2015 and has a duration of 15 years in the first instance. The company assumed management of the shipyard on July 1.

However, Eustace, during his radio programme on Monday said the persons leasing the marina will be required to pay the Government a fee of US$64,000 in each of the first three years of the agreement.

“That’s the same as paying for 36 months… about US$5,400 per month for Ottley Hall. So, from now until the end of June 2017, that is what the persons taking over Ottley Hall will pay to the Government. That is the revenue that the Government will get from that agreement which is signed effective first of July,” he said.

“I don’t have the accounts for Ottley Hall for the last few years. I don’t know how much Ottley Hall was making and I can’t look at this and know what Ottley Hall was making before it was leased out, but US$5,400 a month for Ottley Hall for the next 36 months seems to be a very small figure.”

In addition to the US$64,000 per year over the first three years, Eustace stated that the company operating at the marina will invest a little over two million dollars over the next few years to upgrade and add new equipment. He also stated that some of these funds are allocated for working capital.

The Opposition Leader said that he does not know who the owners of the company are, but he believes that the company is a joint venture between Venezuelan and local investors. He further stated that the local investors were the minority shareholders in the business deal.

The June 25 release from the SSL said the services to be provided at the marina include dry docking, inspection and repairs to hulls; bunkering, sand blasting, shell plating and painting; and the installation, maintenance and overhaul of marine engines.

One director, Vincentian Mark Lulley, confirmed that SSL will engage in a number of restorative activities in relation to the shipyard, to make the facility ready for full operations. SSL says that it will spend over EC$5 million in this regard. This will include plans for the completion of a small hotel and the reopening of the supermarket.(BK)

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