The Bermuda Land Development Company (BLDC) today unveiled plans for a new energy plant and a cargo port at Southside in St David’s at Ships Wharf.

At a news conference this afternoon, both local and international companies were invited to “submit their qualifications” to put them in the running for future proposals to “design, build and operate two major infrastructure projects”.

The two major projects – a cargo port and a new energy generation facility will replace the island’s ageing infrastructure, which is “nearing the end of its life cycle”.

Public Works Minister, who was on hand for today’s announcement, said the “additional energy facility would help improve stability and reliability, especially during peak demand and emergency situations”.

‘The potential projects at Ships Wharf are of national interest, and will provide short and long-term jobs and business opportunities in the East End,” he said.

“The projects will also improve Bermuda’s infrastructure in energy generation and cargo operations that will benefit both residents and businesses on the island.

“We commend the BLDC for their work to date, and look forward to the next steps in the redevelopment process,” he added.

A BLDC spokesperson noted that this redevelopment project “provides the opportunity to explore ways to reduce the cost of electricity, and investigate reliable and sustainable energy using modern technology and cost-effective resources”.

The new energy facility will boost the island’s power grid by generating 20 megawatts. As of April last year, the island’s energy capacity stood at 160 megawatts.

The Request for Qualifications was sent out today. The deadline for submissions is May 23.

BLDC CEO Frances Mussenden, said: “Our mandate is to evaluate and support redevelopment options that strengthen the social and economic fabric of Bermuda.

“After a comprehensive three-year exploratory period on how best to potentially use the land at Ships Wharf, and upon consideration of various ideas submitted by our community through the Expression of Interest  [EOI] process, we are excited to launch the next phase of redevelopment in the East End.

“Since the current energy infrastructure is nearing the end of its life cycle, an additional energy facility would help improve stability and reliability, especially during times of peak demand and emergency situations,” he added.

The new cargo port could potentially allow for two ships, which also paves the way for trans-shipping out of Bermuda to process goods bound for other destinations.

Col Burch added: “The location could almost accommodate bonded warehouses on the site that would facilitate the breakdown of containerised goods at the port, enabling the transporting goods in smaller vehicles on Bermuda’s roads.”

Looking ahead to the future, Mr Mussenden said: “There are exciting times for Bermuda.

“We look forward to engaging with all members of the community as we invest in new opportunities for the East End.”

And he encouraged residents “to participate in dialogue and provide input on the upcoming projects through community engagement sessions and other discussions to be scheduled in the coming months”.