Falklands : Falklands - A Question of Port
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 15.01.2008 (Article Archived on 29.01.2008)
Balancing the cost of purchase vs value is important.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
15th JANUARY 2008
PORT LOCATION - ISSUES
Balancing the cost of a purchase against its value is a difficult decision for all of us - somehow, we always seem to want something just that bit more expensive than we can afford. That long wheelbase 5-door is so clearly the right car - but the money will only buy a short wheelbase 3-door.
Of course, sometimes we can borrow extra money to make the move to the next model up - and some young people seem to think that parents will provide, that money is something which you just ask for.
For most of us, however, major purchases (house, car) are carefully considered, and what we buy isn't usually what we would really like, but a compromise driven by what we can afford.
Being really honest about the real benefits of a bigger car is one essential element in making sure that the right car is bought.
Deciding on an appropriate deep-water port for the Falkland Islands for the future is one of the major purchasing decisions the Islands must face. To make the right choice of which port is appropriate means balancing what is affordable with the benefits of different options. No-one is going to lend money unless it is clear that it is going to be repaid - and there is no-one clamouring to donate the millions needed.
The Royal Haskonning report has laid out with some clarity the port requirements of the different sectors for the foreseeable future. It makes sense to plan on the basis that the oil industry needs only facilities to support exploration at present - if development occurs, then the availability of finance becomes much less of an issue.
So the challenge is to plan for affordable, sensible facilities and make it possible for the government and private sector to invest wisely, in a way which gives the best possible return on the investment. The small size of the Islands' economy, and the high cost of major construction projects like a port, makes that complex. Many of the issues have been discussed before, but the seminar at 09:00 on January 28th in the Chamber of Commerce is aimed at bringing all the different advantages and shortcomings of the various options to one place, to compare them and to give Councillors a jumping-off point to move forward to some detailed planning.
This is a decision which is only going to be made once - FIDC hope that everyone with an interest in the subject will contribute to what promises to be an exciting discussion, we hope for the final time.
It would be helpful if those attending would let FIDC know in advance, by contacting Christine Scipio-O'Dean on telephone 27211 or email email@example.com