Commissioner Thielman: Eye for detail in plans for the Hato Cargo Port

KRALENDIJK – Commissioner Hennyson Thielman of Economy and Tourism understands that there are mixed feelings about the construction of a new cargo terminal on the WEB site in the Hato district.

Nevertheless, the Executive Council hopes to take away negative feelings of residents and businesses in the neighborhood as much as possible, by thoroughly elaborating the plan and making the necessary investments to keep the impact in the area as limited as possible. That is what Thielman said on Thursday in conversation with ABC Online Media

When asked why the decision was made to build a new terminal now, Thielman says that there are three important reasons. “The first reason is the fact that we want to get the price level on Bonaire down. We can partly achieve this by no longer taking containers to Bonaire via Curaçao, but directly as much as possible. The second reason is that the logistical situation as it is now is no longer possible on the waterfront of Kralendijk. Containers now have to be parked on public roads, with all the associated risks. The third reason is that the logistics surrounding loading and unloading must be improved. That is currently not possible in the port due to the lack of space”.

Thielman also says that the discussion has been going on since the year 2010. “More than eight reports have been drawn up, in which feasibility and impact have been mapped out. Time and again it is concluded that this is really the best option for the island”. According to Thielman, the option near Bopec is not the best one due to too high a wave in that areas. “We would have to build breakers in the sea to limit the wave movement and that is not really desirable,” says Thielman. In addition, containers would have to travel quite a distance by road to reach their destination.


Thielman says he understands that the residents and businesses of the Hato district are not very happy with the plan, but thinks that a right approach can take away much of the negative sentiment. Thielman explains that it is the intention for the Curoil Depot to also be moved in the future, which will create even more space. “The idea now is that there will be a building on the side of the road, including the port office, so that containers are actually hidden from view as much as possible. In addition, we are studying the extension of the roads coming out of the terminal, to cross directly from the harbor and to get to the Kaya Amsterdam,” explains Thielman. This prevents containers from having to be transported over the Kaya Gobernador Debrot and past the hotels.


According to Thielman, the work is expected to start around the year 2024. “First there will be an environmental impact report. This will not only focus on the impact on nature, but residents around the planned port area will also be interviewed to provide their input.

According to Thielman, it should not be forgotten that the site is already being used for business purposes. “In the current situation, there is already a pier and a boat moors there several times a week to bring fuel”.

When asked about the total investment that the project will entail, Thielman says that it is projected to be between 30 and 40 million dollars. “This will be partly funded by the State and partly by the Public Entity itself”. According to Thielman, it is the intention that the Public Entity remains the owner of the port. “We are thinking about setting up a separate port company. This discussion is not new either. But in any case, it is in the plans that the government of Bonaire will simply remain the owner of the port, also in the new set-up”.

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