Concerns are mounting about the viability and background of foreign investors said to be pumping 5-billion US dollars into Jamaica’s logistics hub.
Industry and Investment Minister, Anthony Hylton announced at a press conference yesterday, that his ministry will on Monday sign an MOU with German-Austrian company Krauck Systems and the New York-based Anchor Finance Group.
But the announcement has been met with skepticism by some members of the public and the Opposition.
Kalilah Enriquez today spoke with one of Krauck’s board members and International Representative, Seigfried Kohlbecker.
Krauck Systems claims to have completed over 2-hundred projects around the world, the majority of which are in Europe.
The reference page on their website lists BMW, Volkswagen, Audi, Deutsche, Lufthansa and Palmers International among a long list of clients.
While the names of partners are listed, no information is provided on the nature and scope of projects undertaken in collaboration with these partners.
According to Kohlbecker, their resume includes everything from airports to high rise buildings, factories and oil refineries.
But the first thing to note about Krauck’s involvement in Jamaica’s Logistics Hub, is that Krauck itself is not making the 5-billion dollar investment.
As Kohlbecker explains it, Krauck Systems is simply acting as the project manager.
According to Minister Hylton, the Krauck consortium has expressed an interest in the Caymanas Special Economic Zone, an airport at Vernamfield, a dry dock and a commodities port.
Kohlbecker also listed railroad as among the expected investments.
With a 5-billion US dollar price tag, it would be the largest project Krauck has ever undertaken.
It’s Jamaica’s largest too.
So how did Krauck get involved in this massive deal?
The men he’s referring to are Michael Callahan, who’s based in Louisiana, and Michael Hewey from Washington State in the US.
However Kohlbecker wouldn’t say what companies they’re representing.
According to Minister Hylton, the lead financier on the project is Anchor Finance Group, LLC, based in New York, but Kohlbecker wouldn’t verify whether this is the same company with whom he’s been in contact.
Kohlbecker promised to put us in touch with Callahan and Hewey, but up to news time that has not happened.