BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Monday May 28, 2012 – The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced yesterday (May 27) that it has approved a US$55 million loan to finance the construction of the new Four Seasons hotel in Barbados.
According to the release from the IDB, the funds are to finance construction of a new environment-friendly hotel that will adopt international best practice in water conservation and energy efficiency while creating much needed jobs on the island, and opportunities for small and medium-sized companie who will be engaged as suppliers to the project.
When the stalled luxury resort development gets re-started, projections are that it will create as many as 725 direct jobs during construction and operation; and local small and medium-sized furniture manufacturers and art and craft vendors will have an opportunity to provide furniture and art and craft items to the hotel, as well as to sell their products at the hotel’s gift shop.
The hotel is also expected to create market access opportunities for local farmers by sourcing reliable supply of high-quality produce for its guests. In addition, the hotel will utilize harvested treated rainwater, as well as hotel grey water for irrigation and in the fire suppression system. Such water conservation efforts are expected to significantly reduce the hotel’s water demand from the national water system.
The IDB has stated that the loan will provide long term financing for the project and will pave the way for the completion of the construction of the hotel as part of the overall resort development. It added that the financing is expected to be complemented by commercial lenders and contributions from other private investors.
Following the settlements of outstanding debts of US$60 million to suppliers in November 2010, it was expected at that stage that work would re-start in full, but that did not occur and the project has sat in abeyance while waiting for the necessary injection of funds to get it up and running again.
In January this year, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Christopher Sinckler confirmed that the Barbados National Insurance Scheme would also be contributing funds, reportedly US$30 million, to the project.