After a year of negotiations, the Trinidad and Tobago Housing Development Corporation (HDC) has appointed China Gezhouba Group International Engineering Co Ltd (CGGC) to finance and build 5,000 apartment units across Trinidad.
A signing ceremony was held Friday, May 17 at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain, capital of the Caribbean nation.
The two-year, $71.7m first phase of of the scheme sees CGGC building 204 apartments at South Quay, Port of Spain and 235 units at Lady Hailes Avenue, San Fernando.
CGGC will be responsible for the financing, design, procurement and construction of the housing blocks and associated infrastructure, the HDC said.
HDC said local materials and labour "are expected to be used for this project".
It is expected that this construction project with CGGC will significantly reduce the deficit in the local housing industry and will regenerate the urban landscape in cities such as Port of Spain and San Fernando.
Speaking at the signing, housing minister Edmund Dillon called it "a defining moment for the housing construction industry in Trinidad and Tobago".
Last week it emerged that two other Chinese contractors had been hired to finance and build a $160m hospital (see Further reading), prompting Prime Minister Keith Rowley to defend the decision to borrow from China.
Image: Visualisation of new blocks planned for San Fernando, Trinidad (HDC)