For years he has been agitating for an airport to be located in his northernmost constituency.
However, having secured an endorsement from his own administration for such a development to occur, Member of Parliament Denis Kellman will stop at nothing it seems to ensure that development comes to St Lucy.
Mere weeks after Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy stood up in Parliament and expressed Government’s support for the construction of an airport in St Lucy, Kellman Friday pulled out another major project from his growing wish-list of infrastructural works for the parish.
Addressing a welcoming ceremony at the Arawak Cement plant in St Lucy Friday morning, Kellman mooted the idea of having a seaport located in the constituency.
However, with questions already being asked about where Government would find the money to fund an airport in the north, he appeared to put the onus on the management of the cement company to both finance and develop his idea.
In fact, Kellman not only suggested that the nearby Arawak quarry would be the perfect location for such a development, but said it was a good way for management of the cement company to turn what many now see as a “negative” development into a positive one.
“I think you have the opportunity to correct the error that others have made. I think that we need to look at Panama where a major challenge has been turned into one of the greatest commercial solutions in the world. I think your quarry offers an opportunity for another port in St Lucy,” the parliamentary representative said.
In further appealing to Arawak’s management, Kellman said now that Barbados was targeting business from South American countries and welcoming some of the largest cruise liners in the world, the Arawak Cement Co Ltd stood to benefit from port charges from mega-ships.
Referring to the engineering technology used in the construction of the Panama Canal in the early 20th century, Kellman recommended that Arawak could use the same lock system for ships entering their port.
He was insistent that there were benefits to be derived from the construction of a port in the north, saying, “It means that you will not only be making money from selling cement and concrete, but you will have an opportunity to charge port fees for use of your port.”
Earlier, Kellman recalled that as far back as 2008 when the Democratic Labour Party had assumed office, he had suggested that the environmental challenge presented by dust particles to residents living downwind to the plant could be addressed with the installation of jets of water.
He further recalled that engineers employed at the company had rejected his suggestion, but noted that the current management team had promised to install the jets to attract the dust particles.
However, in his brief address, General Manager Manuel Toro did not address any of Kellman’s proposals but he recalled that Arawak has been in operation in Barbados for the past 33 years and gave his audience the assurance that it will be here for the next 50 to 100 years.
Toro acknowledged that the company had the talent and the workforce to make Barbados stronger and greater.
Expressing his own love for the country, the Colombian born general manager, who took up his position five months ago, said: “I am very pleased and honoured to be living in this beautiful country. I can say this island is a paradise and living here is a blessing.”
He promised that under his management, the company would fully participate in the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the island’s independence.