Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the government is pursuing other locations for a logistics port to be built by China Harbour Engineering Company, CHEC.
Addressing Jamaicans at a town hall meeting in Queens, New York last night, Mr. Holness said the government has decided not to allow a port at Goat Islands.
He says while the government will go ahead with the logistics port, they have taken a decision that there are other locations that would do less environmental damage.
During an interview with Scarlet Fu of Bloomberg TV in New York yesterday, Mr. Holness described the port as only a possibility.
Concerns were raised this week after the IMF’s most recent staff report, published on September 19, said the development of a trans-shipment port and industrial and commercial zones in the Portland Bight area by CHEC is ongoing.
The Port Bight area includes the Goat Islands.
According to the IMF report, technical feasibility studies for the project have already begun.
However, in a response on Twitter yesterday to environmentalist Diana McCauley, Mr. Holness says the entry of those statements into an official IMF document may not have represented the decision of the government.
He also committed to making a formal announcement upon his return to the island.
Meanwhile, the Jamaica Environment Trust, JET, says it welcomes the statement from Prime Minister Holness that the logistics hub port will not go ahead at Goat Islands, due to the environmental damage it would cause.
JET CEO Diana McCaulay says they look forward to further information from the Prime Minister.
McCaulay is also urging the Mr. Holness to address other environmental concerns.
The Prime Minister has portfolio responsibility for the environment.
She says JET will continue to monitor developments in the Portland Bight Protected Area, including the natural gas floating platform required by the Jamaica Public Service Company, and any other developments which may threaten the natural resources that are protected by law.