Plan to redevelop Haiti terminal
A Haiti-based conglomerate and Miami shipping line said they plan to redevelop Terminal Varreux in Port-Au-Prince, which was damaged in the Jan. 12 earthquake.
Haiti’s WIN Group and Sant' Holding Corp. said they will build new jetties, deepen berths and develop container and breakbulk cargo facilities at the 150-acre terminal. Historically, the terminal had concentrated on liquid and dry bulk cargo.
The terminal is a response “to the desperate need for new and expanded port infrastructure to serve earthquake recovery efforts, as well as to address the long-term shipping needs of the country,” the companies said in an announcement Tuesday.
Terminal Varreux is the largest privately owned shipping terminal and port facility in Haiti, and comprises multiple berths connected to liquid and dry bulk pumping pipelines. The facility was damaged during the recent earthquake, but was repaired in order to allow resumption of fuel shipments to Haiti by tanker. Terminal Varreux receives and stores more than 70 percent of Haiti's fuel, they said.
WIN Group has stakes in multiple industries. Sant' Holding is headed by Charles Towsley, former director of the Port of Miami. Sante is partnering with the Rovirosa family, which operates terminals in the Port of Miami and Port Everglades.
Sante launched a fortnightly container service between Miami and Cap Haitien and Gonaives last October with the 181-TEU containership Sant' Manna.
Towsley told American Shipper the firm will initially commence service to Port-au-Prince with a barge service from Miami in six to eight weeks. When a new pier opens, it will begin calling Port-Au-Prince with the Sante Manna.
The companies plan to have the first phase of the new terminal open for regular container traffic this summer.
“We are in discussions with various lines who have historically called Port-au-Prince, and some other lines that have interest,” Towsley said.
Container cargo into Port-Au-Prince is being handled on a Crowley barge. The existing wharf is severely damaged.
Under terms of the agreement between WIN and Sante, WIN will retain control of the dry bulk, liquid bulk and petroleum operations, while the new facilities will be operated by the new joint venture.
“Once completed, this project will not only support Haiti's ongoing relief efforts, but lay the foundation for the overall modernization of the country's shipping industry,' said Youri Mevs, managing partner of WIN Group.
'The creation of the new port facilities will greatly increase the capacity of Port-au-Prince to accommodate the ongoing demand for relief and recovery cargo into Haiti,' said Bruno E. Ramos, Sant' Holding chief executive officer.
“Long-term, this is an ideal facility to serve projects such as the West Indies Free Zone, WIN Group's $45 million industrial park to be developed along with the Soros Economic Development Fund near Port-au-Prince’s impoverished Cit' Soleil neighborhood, a project temporarily halted because of the earthquake,” he added. ' Chris Dupin