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British Virgin Islands to complete port expansion by January

San Juan, Nov 7 (EFE).- The government of the British Virgin Islands says the first phase of the expansion of Road Town port on the main island of Tortola will be complete by January.

Construction of the Tortola Pier Park will boost the tourism industry and local products and services when “new customers” arrive in the city, the Ministry of Finance said on its Web site.

The first phase of the complex – featuring restaurants, shops and other businesses – will be complete in January and the plans call for opening a segment to the public next April, according to IDEA Orlando, the design and planning firm working on the project.

In January 2014, the Ports Authority signed an agreement with Disney and Norwegian cruise lines to coordinate the arrival of larger ships to the area.

It is expected that about 425,000 passengers will visit Tortola during the 2015-2016 cruise season.

“We felt any further delay would jeopardize our competitiveness and realization of economic opportunities for the territory. Simply put, a modern cruise pier and surrounding amenities are crucial for the Virgin Islands to be a vibrant and desirable cruise destination,” Finance Minister Orlando Smith said when announcing the expansion last year