By YOURI KEMP
Tribune Business Reporter
Disney Cruise Line yesterday said it is hoping to begin construction work on its Lighthouse Point destination this year, and is targeting late 2022-early 2023 for the project to become operational.
Kim Prunty, vice-president of Disney Cruise Line, told Tribune Business: “We are hopeful construction could begin in 2020, and the experience could be operational by late 2022 or early 2023.”
Disney’s own website for the south Eleuthera project concedes that construction will only begin after the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Environmental Management Plan (EMP) are approved by the government. Public consultation must also be completed, and all other necessary government permits and approvals granted.
Ms Prunty added: “Disney, along with its own animal and conservation experts, assembled a team of highly-qualified and experienced scientists and other professionals who spent more than two years developing a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
“Disney submitted the EIA in late December, and has been advised that the BEST (Bahamas Environment, Science and Technology) Commission will post the document on their website after their feedback is incorporated and government reviews are complete.
“Additional public consultation will occur as part of the site plan approval process. The EIA is based on extensive field work, robust data collection and analysis, direct engagement with those who have studied the site and the species observed there, and an exhaustive review of available literature.
Rochelle Newbold, the BEST Commission’s director, said yesterday of the EIA: “They (Disney) submitted it in December and it is presently under review. We will finish it when we get through the document; there is no way to give any specific timing on it.
“After it’s done it will be posted in the public domain for the public to see what the government is considering relative to the project.”