Jamaica says Chinese company would build coal plant to power proposed transshipment port

Jamaica's works minister says a Chinese company wants to build its own coal-fired plant to generate power to build a hoped-for $1.5 billion port project.

China Harbor Engineering Co. wants to develop a transshipment port in a swath of southern Jamaica that would lure the deep-drafting ships expected to start using the Panama Canal when its expansion is completed.

It aims to build an industrial park, container terminal, logistics zone and shipping berths to accommodate "post-Panamax" vessels carrying a bigger share of regional cargo, much of it from China.

Works Minister Omar Davies said Tuesday the Chinese company wants to power the project with its own coal plant since Jamaica's electricity is so pricey.

He says it has applied for a license to begin geotechnical work and an engineering survey.