Port expansion being held up
CHAIRMAN of the Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners (LPHC), Garvan O’Dohery, says ambitious plans to expand operations at Lisahally are being held up by the failure to extend powers for local Trust Ports to allow them to raise money from private sources.
Mr O’Doherty urged the Government to extend finance-raising powers as soon as possible to allow the Port to make additional investments and create further jobs in the North West.
He made the rallying call in his statement to the Port and Harbour Commissioners’ recently published annual report for 2012.
He stated: “There continues to be no progress regarding the long promised extended powers for Trust Ports.
“This is most unsatisfactory. As the Port is a vital player in the regional economy and as the Port operates in one of the most deprived economies in Europe it is in everyone’s interests that all opportunities are maximised.
“Even though our sponsoring department (the Department of Regional Development) has always sought to support our requirements, our ability to move quickly to take advantage of commercial opportunities may well be impaired.”
Mr O’Doherty said the failure to extend powers as promised is hindering development at Lisahally.
“The Commissioners have most ambitious strategic plans to expand the activities of the Port. This will translate into additional investment, further job creation and the development of the infrastructure of the North West,” he stated.
“All these measures are needed to stimulate the economy. Resources are required to fulfil the Port’s strategic plans.
“We are currently curtailed in our ability to raise finance from private source. Instead the Port is forced to borrow from Government, under the current modus operandi.
“As Government revenues are under enormous pressures and indeed with the vast majority of Government expenditure cuts yet to be implemented it is in everyone’s interest to have our legislators pass laws to extend the powers of Trust Ports at the earliest opportunity,” he continued.
He concluded: “I trust this will happen much sooner rather than later. All of us must be innovative in our actions and we must play our part to eliminate the scourge of the economic downturn.”
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Weather for Londonderry
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 8 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: South west