POINTE BLANCHE--The Port of St. Maarten welcomed the CMA CGM Marseille on Saturday. In addition to the container vessel arrival, the Port took the opportunity to inaugurate its new Model 6 crane.
A special ceremony was held at the Port facilities Saturday afternoon to celebrate the special occasion. Intermar Managing Director George Pelgrim served as Master of Ceremonies and said in his opening remarks, “This is a step into the future and a sign of better things to come.”
Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) Irania Arrindell was present during the event and congratulated the port and its partners on their latest business endeavour.
Members of Parliament Theo Heyliger and Silvio Matser along with Minister of Finance Richard Gibson were on hand to witness the event.
CGM Guadeloupe Managing Director Thierry Souladie said in his address, “As part of the strategic development of services, CMA CGM has sought to promote the St. Maarten market by providing its customers with vessels or the most developed solutions and equipment.
“By introducing new ship Guyanamax, CMA CGM has been dedicated to excellence and strengthening the surrounding Leeward Islands according to the strategy and confidence of the Caribbean Market Group.”
Port St. Maarten now possesses the largest mobile crane in the Northeastern Caribbean, a Terex Gottwald Model 6. It is part and parcel of the operations at the cargo section of Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise and Cargo Facilities.
Harbour Group of Companies CEO Mark Mingo said CMA CGM had been doing business on the island for 35 years and this major step with this vessel showed the confidence the company continued to have in the port.
The newly acquired Terex Gottwald Model 6 Crane from Germany completed its commissioning process on October 13 and went into full operation on October 15, completing another milestone for the Port. The crane arrived on the island at the end of August.
The Model 6 crane is equipped with the technical and ergonomic functions and features required to improve productivity, environmental compatibility and facilitate operations to boost economical and sustainable cargo handling in ports and terminals. Port St. Maarten crane staff is already trained in using this model of crane.
Port St. Maarten has invested significantly in cargo over the years, where infrastructure, dredging, and upgrading of cranes are concerned and training of staff leading to seven local certified operators and supervisors. CMA St. Maarten does about 30 per cent of the cargo business on the island, according to Mingo.
Increasing cargo volumes especially related to transhipment, where enormous growth opportunity exists, bring about a good feeling for port officials. Port St. Maarten cargo facility investments have led to a steady growth in containerised business, making the island a regional sub-hub for the Northeastern Caribbean.
Port St. Maarten serves the islands of Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda. The port is also in the process of developing a special relationship with the Caribbean Netherlands islands Saba and St. Eustatius with respect to port handling, operations, economic development and sustainability. Both islands receive their cargo shipments/services from Port St. Maarten.
St. Maarten Vocational Training School received a US $3,000 donation from the harbour to go towards the secondary school’s continued efforts to educate youngster who show interest in vocational training studies. The principal was present to receive the donation from the officials.
RBC Royal Bank provided the financing for the new crane.
The cargo section at Port St. Maarten is a 24/7 operation and provides a large part of the revenues generated by the Port. Mingo thanked customers and stakeholders for their support during the transitional phase of upgrading from the older version crane to the latest sophisticated Model 6.