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Jun 22, 2020

Ashcroft Has No Interest in Owning Port of Belize

The Port of Belize Limited remains in receivership eight years after being taken over by Private Investment Limited.  Despite its status since businessman Luke Espat filed for bankruptcy in January 2012, there is no interest in PIL owning the facility.  According to Lord Ashcroft, the plan is to construct a two hundred million dollar cruise terminal with berthing facilities adjacent to Port of Belize.  Part of the challenge, however, is that government is yet to agree to a Memorandum of Understanding with Waterloo, that is spearheading the proposed cruise terminal development.

 

Michael Ashcroft

Lord Michael Ashcroft

“As you know, the Port of Belize is still in receivership so clearly at this stage none of my companies, in this case Waterloo, has an interest in the port of any ownership.  It’s still in receivership.  What Waterloo has done is, in conjunction with the receiver, put forward a plan which is roughly a two hundred million dollar investment and will not just be an investment by me, it will be an investment by international investors that I will lead and international financing, as well as some of my own financing to bring to Belize what I am told that Belize will have to have in the years ahead if it’s going to keep the cruise liners coming into Belize.  The cruise liners have made it absolutely clear that within a couple of years they will favor countries that have berthing facilities.  Now as far as Belize is concerned, to be able to berth gives the passengers another two, two and a half hours of exploring time.  It also means that the crew themselves can come ashore.  It also means that the tour operators and tour guides will have a better future in that they will know that those cruise liners will continue to Belize.  Now Belize has been messing around for a number of years as to what it’s going to do to this particular industry.  Now Waterloo has been assembling, at great cost, environmental impact reports which is the most comprehensive that this nation has seen.  We’ve hired some of the best consultants to put the proposals together, but so far the government has not executed a Memorandum of Understanding in order for Waterloo to go a little further.  Now the problem that Waterloo is having is some of our backers and financiers can’t understand why this being the only project that gives Belize what it wants can’t get a Memorandum of Understanding from the government as yet.”


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