Sunday 24 May, 2020

PM pitches Pitch Lake for world's largest airport in Beijing

Photo: Beijing International Airport

Photo: Beijing International Airport

Asphalt from the Trinidad and Tobago pitch lake may be used to help pave the world's largest airport in Beijing, China.

The Office of the Prime Minister said in a statement issued Wednesday that Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley met with Chinese construction company Beijing Construction Engineering Group (BCEG), which is constructing the Beijing International Airport, the world's largest airport, and offered to supply asphalt for the project from the country's famed Pitch Lake. 

Dr Rowley and the Trinidad and Tobago delegation visited the Beijing Construction Engineering Group (BCEG) headquarters in Beijing earlier this week. 

The OPM said Dr Rowley "congratulated the company on this incredible project and indicated that the properties of Trinidad and Tobago's asphalt render it the best quality asphalt for paving an airport tarmac."

"The Chairman of Lake Asphalt, Mr Christopher John Williams, was on hand to deliver a presentation on the quality of T&T's asphalt and also invited the company to partner with Lake Asphalt in developing and monetizing asphalt bi-products."

"The Chairman of BCEG has expressed interest in obtaining asphalt from Trinidad and Tobago for the world's largest airport in Beijing China," the release said. 

(Photo: The La Brea Pitch Lake)

In addition, negotiations were reached whereby Chinese nationals with US or Canadian visas would be eligible for travel to Trinidad and Tobago. 

"Dr Rowley's announcement to the Chinese Government to ease visa restrictions to enter Trinidad and Tobago was well received. 

"It is estimated that some one hundred and twenty million tourists travel annually from China. Prime Minister Rowley announced that once Chinese citizens hold either a United States or Canadian visa then they could also be eligible to travel to Trinidad and Tobago."


Proposals for direct flights to from China to Sandals Tobago

OPM said Dr Rowley, Minister Stuart Young and Caribbean Airlines Chairman Ronnie Mohammed met with Chairman of HNA Group Co. Ltd., Chen Feng, to discuss establishing more direct air links and strategic partnerships with China, including direct flights to Sandals Tobago.

"HNA Group owns over one thousand two hundred aircrafts, is a substantial shareholder in international hotel chains and boasts of being the largest tour operating company in China," said the OPM.

The OPM said HNA Group has been invited to establish code sharing and interline arrangements with Caribbean Airlines, as well as options to provide direct flights to the proposed Tobago Sandals resort.

"HNA Group had been invited to submit a competitive bid to partner with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago on the Tobago Sandals project once the tender process is initiated. It is anticipated that this strategic partnership will allow Trinidad and Tobago to tap into the tourism market in China."

"Mr Mohammed also met with top executives of Air China, who also expressed interest in code sharing and interline arrangements with Caribbean Airlines. They are presently operating flights into Havana, Cuba and JFK New York," OPM said. 

Dr Rowley and the delegation travelled to Shanghai on Wednesday as they completed their tour of China, which ends on May 19. After the trip, the delegation heads to Australia. 


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