Government is seeking private sector investment through a Build Own Lease Transfer (BOLT) arrangement to build the new airport terminal at the ANR Robinson International Airport in Crown Point.
Speaking at a sod-turning ceremony for construction of infrastructure to accommodate a 20-megawatt upgrade project at the Cove Power Station in Lowlands, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said Cabinet has decided the airport must be built despite economic constraints.
“What exists now at the terminal building of the ANR Robinson airport is not satisfactory and therefore the Cabinet has taken the decision to proceed with the project of building a new terminal… The site has been agreed upon, this work is being
done in close collaboration with the Tobago House of Assembly and its technical people, the Civil Aviation Authority, the Airport Authority and the Cabinet,” he said.
Saying that key to the project was “how is this going to be paid for,” he said that because Government cannot afford the large expense now, doesn’t mean that it cannot proceed with the project.
“We need it…What we could do is what we said we would do… that is to tap into private sector monies that may at this time be lying idle at the banks in Trinidad and Tobago and elsewhere.
“The way we would do that is to invite public-private partnership arrangements where the private sector will be invited to compete for that project on a Build Own Lease Transfer arrangement and once we select a supplier on those arrangements, the private sector will fund those arrangements, will build it, will own it and … Government will then be able to make smaller and regular payments over a period of years as lease payments, and at the end of that period, the facility comes to the State.
“Usually I think it is transferred for a dollar, (the State) having paid for it over a number of years,” he said.