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News Article
CEO: Port of Miami 'no threat' to Freeport post-Panama expansion

Freeport's chief executive officer has confirmed he feels "no threat" from the Port of Miami notwithstanding major infrastructural upgrades currently underway at the Florida port and direct efforts by its director to win back transshipment business that has been lost to Freeport and other competitors.
Godfrey Smith, CEO of the Freeport Container Port, said that he views it as more likely that Freeport and the Port of Miami will "compliment" each other in a post-Panama canal expansion environment, suggesting that transshipment is "Freeport's business".
He also pointed to certain legal requirements as making it easier for ships engaged in transshipment to come to Freeport rather than Miami.
Freeport has been touted as likely to get a big boost once the Panama Canal expansion is complete. The port has traditionally dominated in the region in terms of container port throughput, coming in top in the region in 2012. Once the Panama canal expansion is complete, it is at an advantage because it already provides the conditions for super-sized ships to enter and dock, and because of its significant land availability for storage.
Despite already going to the critical depth, Freeport also has its own post-Panama expansion plans, although Smith said he does not anticipate that they will be completed by 2015, when the canal project is set to wrap up.
However, laying out Miami's advantage in an interview with Guardian Business, Director of the Port of Miami Bill Johnson, said that a combination of infrastructure, service and geographic location will make the Florida port a key player once the completion of the Panama canal expansion is finalized in 2015.
While Johnson did not directly identify upgrade plans as part of a strategy to better compete with Freeport and win back transshipment business, he has previously done so. The Port of Miami lost much of its transshipment business after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when new security regulations created challenges doing business.
Johnson is reported to have written a letter to Acting Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Commissioner Thomas Winkowski in June 2013, asking the CBP to develop a pilot program, "with a transshipment inspection protocol pilot for the Port of Miami."
According to the port's letter to CBP Commission Winkowski, prior to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, "transshipment made up over 22 percent of the cargo trade at the Port of Miami." Now, that transshipment cargo goes through Panama, Freeport, and Kingston.
The CBP is reported to have promised it is "committed and will do everything in its power to expedite transshipment".
In November 2013, a Transshipment Committee was established by the port in conjunction with the CBP to ensure "the return of transshipment to the port".
In an interview with Guardian Business, Johnson described the Port of Miami as having been "quietly, strategically" upgrading to the tune of $65 million to $100 million a year over the past eight years, with an eye to capitalizing on the surge in shipping volumes that will ensue once the Panama project concludes. The port is geographically closer to Panama, but only just.
Johnson said that the port is "very, very excited" about its project to deepen its harbor to accommodate the mega ships that will come through the Panama canal once its expansion is complete, predicting it will see the port accommodate "triple the volume" of shipments it is at present.
Meanwhile, an "on-dock" railway system is being developed that will allow cargo to be shipped by rail directly from the port to 70 percent of the U.S. population within one to four days, said Johnson - a key advantage for the port.
Noting that upgrades are "all about speed to market", Johnson said that a roughly $1 billion tunnel system is now being developed which will see the port become one of the few in the world with a direct connection under the ground to the highway system, allowing cargo to move seamlessly "without a single traffic light" and speeding up delivery. Johnson described the project as "one of the largest PPP (public-private partnership) projects in the U.S., which is opening on time and under budget" in two months' time.
"The $2 billion we've invested we consider a strategic investment to make sure the Port of Miami is fully prepared for the changing opportunities in global trade. We're (handling) right under one million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) right now, and with this infrastructure with the incorporation of RTG (rubber-tyred gantry) equipment, this will allow us to go up to $4 million TEUs (annually)," said Johnson.
After some delays due to a legal dispute, the Panama Canal Authority approved a deal last week that would ensure the completion of the expansion project by December 2015. It came after construction was halted for two weeks in February on the mega-project. The new arrangement will require the authority and the Spanish-led construction consortium leading the project to put in an extra $100 million.
Before the latest agreement, the canal's expansion project was due to be completed in June 2015, nine months behind its original schedule, with the overall cost of the project estimated at $5.2 billion.
The key impact of the widening and deepening of the canal is to slash costs for shipping, by allowing larger ships that can carry triple the amount of cargo on board.
Other ports in the region will go to the critical depth to be able to accommodate the mega ships that will traverse the Panama Canal post-expansion. But there are other reasons why they may not be competition for Freeport.
The Port of Mariel in Cuba, inaugurated in January, is deep at 18 meters and has plenty land space (as does Freeport), but the U.S. embargo will keep it out of the picture until the U.S. embargo is dropped. Ships going there cannot enter the U.S. for six months after.
Kingston, Jamaica, has plans to deepen its harbor to accommodate mega ships, but has yet to finalize its plans, suggesting it may not be ready in time for the completion of the canal.
Johnson's record at the Port of Miami points to a successful growth strategy to date.
"I've been here now for eight years and we've increased from $16 billion to $30 billion in terms of our direct and indirect economic impact on the region. We'd like to go from roughly one million TEUs annually to two million by 2020. We're looking to double cargo movements in the next five to six years. We're placed for growth, we just need to mind our Ps and Qs. It's not just about infrastructure, we're focused on customer service and care and having a competitive price point. These improvements can take us to four million TEUs annually by 2025, 2030," said Johnson.

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News Article
Shipper's vessel is released

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business
Editor

A BAHAMIAN shipping company has recovered its vessel from US custody after agreeing to pay $75,000 to the Palm Beach Steamship Agency to settle an alleged unpaid debt.

Dean's Shipping Company regained possession of its M/V Legend II vessel last Thursday, with the US District Court for southern Florida dismissing the case brought against it by the Steamship Agency. An intervening lawsuit brought by Caterpillar Financial Services, which alleged that Dean's Shipping had breached the terms of a $2.67 million loan by allowing the M/V Legend II to be seized and have a lien placed over it, was also dismissed.

A March 16, 2011, court order obtained by Tr ...

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News Article
SHIPPER'S VESSEL IS RELEASED

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business
Editor

A BAHAMIAN shipping company has recovered its vessel from US custody after agreeing to pay $75,000 to the Palm Beach Steamship Agency to settle an alleged unpaid debt.

Dean's Shipping Company regained possession of its M/V Legend II vessel last Thursday, with the US District Court for southern Florida dismissing the case brought against it by the Steamship Agency. An intervening lawsuit brought by Caterpillar Financial Services, which alleged that Dean's Shipping had breached the terms of a $2.67 million loan by allowing the M/V Legend II to be seized and have a lien placed over it, was also dismissed.

A March 16, 2011, court order obtained ...

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News Article
ACL cargo in lockdown at terminal

Businesses shipping with Atlantic Caribbean Line (ACL) have been locked out from their merchandise for nearly a week following the company's abrupt closure.
According to multiple sources, cargo shipped by ACL through the Nassau Container Port (NCP) made it through customs. It was subsequently transferred to the sister facility, the Gladstone Freight Terminal (GFT). However, while business have paid all of the necessary fees, their cargo has remained locked in a
warehouse, and seemingly nobody has the ability to release it.
"I've heard about the complaints, but I have no comment," said Garth Rolle, former Nassau Port director at ACL. Earlier yesterday morning, Rolle confirmed to Guardian Business that ACL is still being run by a skeleton crew, although he is no longer working for the company.
Terry Johnson, the owner of Affordable Aluminum, said he has more than $21,000 worth of product sitting in the warehouse.
The aluminum came in on Friday, he said, and managed to clear customs. But when his driver went to GFT to pick up the product, as he normally does, "the doors were locked".
"He told me some representative is investigating, but so far nothing. My clients are upset, because it has nearly been a week now," he told Guardian Business. "It is putting me on edge."
Johnson insists that he is a paying customer, and the fact ACL went out of business is not an excuse.
"I've done everything I need to do. What am I supposed to do?" he asked.
Taneka Hanna, customer representative at the company, noted that nobody at the GFT or ACL seems to know the state of the cargo.
When she last drove down to GFT yesterday, she said there were several other business representatives with similar problems, as ACL had many shipments coming in on the days leading up to its closure. She speculated there are inefficiencies or discrepancies between the port and ACL.
Michael Maura, the CEO of APD Limited, did not return requests for comment before press time.
"This is no fault of ours," Hanna said. "We have our customers waiting on their product. These are people we deal with every day. They don't know where their product is, and we're not getting any answers."
Hanna added that Affordable Aluminum had already notified its suppliers that it will be shifting from ACL to Tropical Shipping.
On Tuesday, Guardian Business first revealed that ACL had shut its doors, putting at least 12 Bahamians out of work. The company had approximately 15 percent of the local market share.
ACL closed its offices in Nassau, Freeport, and Fort Pierce, Florida.
"It's a disappointment," said Rolle, its former manager. "The position is the owners decided to pull out of the market. The last call was on Friday, so this is with immediate effect. We were given very little information."
Maura, the CEO of APD Limited, said the closure will not have a lasting impact on shipping into The Bahamas.

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News Article
Mass Rally Remarks - Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham
Mass Rally Remarks - Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham

Fellow Bahamians, Fellow FNMs:

There are more of us than there are of them!

We are meeting at the beginning of the celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary of our great Free National Movement.

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News Article
The aragonite hysteria

President of Sandy Cay Development Co. Limited Tony Myers told National Review that claims the company is making substantial sums of money from its aragonite operation at Ocean Cay are not true.
The Bahamas National Citizens Coalition, National Congress of Trade Unions of The Bahamas President John Pinder and others have claimed that aragonite is selling for $900 per metric ton on the open market, but the government is only getting $2 per metric ton.
After he was contacted by National Review, Myers, a Bahamian businessman, said the unprocessed aragonite being shipped from Ocean Cay is being sold on average for $12 to $20 per metric ton.
We requested that he show us invoices to prove his statement.
Myers was off island when we made the invoice request this weekend. He electronically provided one invoice that shows a recent sale for $12.50 per metric ton and committed to providing us with additional invoices to show the company's prices.
He also told us the company has only had 16 export shipments since it started aragonite harvesting in 2010. He also provided National Review with documentation on those 16 shipments.
According to the documents provided to us, Sandy Cay has shipped 106,855.69 metric tons of aragonite since 2010 to various companies.
The government of The Bahamas has received $213,000 in royalties.
We admit our surprise that the shipment amount seemed so low.
Myers estimated that the resale cost of aragonite -- after his company sells to U.S. companies and they complete the refining process -- increases to around $75 per metric ton for the glass market and up to $400 per metric ton for the plastics market.
But he explained, "It takes a huge amount of labor, specialty equipment and electricity cost to take this mineral down to a size of three microns -- a very, very small particle size, basically the size of smoke.
"It is combined or coated with a chemical called stearic acid, and then it's moved into a compounding facility where it's combined with plastic resin, so there's a lot of costs that are added to it.
"So when you say oh, you're selling it for $900 a ton, or even if you were to realistically say you're selling it for $400 a ton, well, there's a tremendous amount of cost or value added that has been built into the material cost from when it's left the ocean at Ocean Cay to the time it actually meets that market."
The aragonite does not attract the estimated $400 per metric ton sale price at Ocean Cay because it is not refined there, he said.
We were also stunned to hear Myers say the company has not yet made a profit from the operation and pressed him repeatedly on why it has stayed in business.
Myers said Sandy Cay is now poised to make money from the operation, although competition for calcium carbonate is great.
We start with those statements in the context of all that is being said nationally now about aragonite and what we as Bahamians could earn from it.
Debate
Across The Bahamas, there is growing hysteria over aragonite, a naturally occurring unique carbonate mineral found in abundance in our ocean.
Commonly, it is known as sand and has widespread uses in various industries, including aggregate, agriculture, glass, power plant desulfurization, plastics, food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
We are told by a citizens coalition of union leaders, pastors and civic activists that Bahamians are being raped by developers mining our precious natural resources -- and that successive governments have signed sweetheart deals with investors ruthlessly scarring our environment to our detriment.
Those driving the discussion -- the Bahamas National Citizens Coalition and John Pinder -- tell us that, "From 1964 this outrageous exploitation of our resources has continually taken place with minimal benefits to The Bahamian people and exorbitant benefits to private citizens."
We are also told that if the government of The Bahamas negotiated the royalties we deserve, the government could pocket as much as $300 million per month. This renegotiation could wipe out our national debt, make us all prosperous and drive down our social woes, they tell us.
We have also heard that in 18 months, every Bahamian could have at least $50,000 in their bank accounts, if only the government would act in the interest of its citizens and do the right thing.
The voices of the union leaders and the other activists have been getting louder, as have the voices of many people calling into local talk shows and demanding the government take action to stop this "criminal act" against its people.
In all of this, we have barely heard the voices of our leaders in government and we have not heard the voices of those harvesting aragonite.
The debate has largely been driven by emotions.
So we set about getting the facts. In so doing, we approached the matter without any prejudice.
What struck us in our initial probe is that the Bahamas National Citizens Coalition, John Pinder, and others driving the hysteria are largely misinformed.
Admittedly, this is a complex matter and we ourselves still have a great deal of research to do. But from our initial digging, we have started to sort through the confusion and seek to provide a more reasoned, fact-based approach to the aragonite discussion.
The first thing we did was contact Sandy Cay Development Company Ltd., the company producing aragonite sand in the crystalline form "oolitic aragonite" at Ocean Cay, south of Bimini.
Our phone call was answered and Sandy Cay President Tony Myers agreed to a meeting with National Review to share with us what is taking place at Ocean Cay and provide us access to important figures on pricing and production.
We also read Sandy Cay's lease with the government of The Bahamas and discovered that some of the claims being made by the coalition are not true.
Despite the coalition's statement of "fact" that the royalties negotiated by the government is renewable every two years, we have seen nothing in the 25-year lease to suggest this.
So, despite all that we have been hearing, there is nothing coming up for renewal in June, or anytime soon.
Coalition Chairman Rev. Andrew Stewart admitted to National Review when we contacted him on Friday that the coalition has not seen the lease, has not contacted the investor, and based that statement of "fact" on what he called "an assumption".
This stunning admission casts doubt on everything we have heard so far from the coalition driving this debate.
This is not to say that the government should not step into this debate, provide clarification and lay out the facts for Bahamians dispassionately.
History
Ocean Cay, the 95-acre site of the country's only aragonite operation, is located nine miles south of Cat Cay, 27 miles south of Bimini and 65 miles east of Miami.
The cay was originally around 30 acres and built in the 1970s.
A popular Sports Illustrated article from 1970 that is currently making the rounds on social media said the Dillingham Corporation had "exclusive rights in four Bahamian areas totaling 8,235 square miles".
"In these areas there are about four billion cubic yards -- roughly 7.5 billion long tons -- of aragonite.
"At rock-bottom price the whole deposit is worth more than $15 billion. An experienced dredging company like Dillingham should be able to suck up 10 million tons a year, which will net the Bahamian government an annual royalty of about $600,000."
It said, "On the basis of such big, round figures, the mining of aragonite seems to be a bonanza operation. In reality, it is still a doubtful venture for both Dillingham and The Bahamas."
In 1984, Marcona Ocean Industries bought the operation and held it until 2000.
On March 27, 1992, then Minister of Works and Lands Philip Bethel signed a 21-year lease with Marcona. The royalty was between 14 cents and 30 cents per metric ton.
Marcona sold to three markets: glass, agriculture and power.
In 2000, the AES Corporation bought the lease, hoping to convince The Bahamas government to agree to the establishment of a liquefied natural gas facility there. Amid a great deal of controversy over LNG in The Bahamas, no approvals were granted and the company eventually packed up and left.
It sold to the current owner, Sandy Cay Development Co. Limited in 2009. According to Myers, it is 100 percent Bahamian owned. The previous companies were all foreign owned.
A letter dated June 3, 2010 written by Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister David Davis to Sandy Cay's lawyer, H. Campbell Cleare III advised that approval was granted for the company "to recommence its mining operations at Ocean Cay and to export aragonite from The Bahamas".
Davis advised, "For a period of two years commencing from the date of this letter the royalty payable to the government shall be $2 per metric ton, payable at the time of export from The Bahamas."
He also wrote that the island lease payment was $7,500 per annum.
Additionally, the letter advised that the company would be afforded duty exemption on the import of equipment required for its start-up operations as per the current lease. "However, this exemption will not be extended to consumables..."
The letter also mandated that the company provide the government with quarterly statements as to the amount of aragonite mined and exported and the destination of such exports.
Davis wrote, "This office stands ready to commence negotiations for the new lease, and in this regard, you are invited to prepare a first draft".
It seems the June 3, 2010 letter from Davis -- in the absence of a public release of the lease eventually negotiated -- has fueled this misinformation of a two-year renewal.
The government signed a lease with Sandy Cay on April 20, 2012. It provides for "an initial term of 25 years". It provides for "the right of renewal hereinafter".
The lease was backdated to June 3, 2010, the date when negotiations started for the new lease.
Myers explained to National Review that after he purchased the former lease from AES in 2009, the Ingraham administration had concerns about the purchase by a Bahamian company from a foreign firm.
He said the operation was placed on hold. It resumed the following year after Davis issued the letter advising Sandy Cay that it may recommence operations while the lease negotiations take place.
Royalty
The new lease signed with Sandy Cay provides for "a royalty computed as B$2 per ton for demised mineral exported from The Bahamas encompassing the first five years of the lease, after which the royalty shall be computed as 10 percent of the sales price, with a minimum fee of B$2 per ton up to a maximum fee of B$12 per ton for demised mineral exported from The Bahamas".
It also states that the rent for the lease is $7,500 per annum commencing June 3, 2010.
For years three to seven the lease payment is fixed at $8,250. It continues to rise up to years 23-25 where it is set at $11,250.
The lease provides for the government to have full access to Sandy Cay's books.
Understandably, the royalty issue has taken precedent in the raging aragonite debate.
In a document it prepared for the Ingraham government titled "Oolitic Aragonite Royalty Fee Analysis", Sandy Cay says, "The royalty fee rate should be less than the proposed B$2 per ton or for that matter far less than the new reference to in the media".
Further to this, Myers said, "There is no way that a rate of B$350 per ton or any other rate referred to in the media can be supported in the feasibility of this operation now or ever in the future."
The report states: "In fact, the proposed royalty rate of $2 already makes Ocean Cay uncompetitive with both U.S. manufacturers of sand and Freeport manufacturers of sand.
"Florida Sand Manufacturers: The royalty rate in Florida, where our main competitors operate from, is called a "tax on severance" as defined in the 2011 Florida Statutes under Section 211.31 and is currently eight percent of the sales value or about U.S.$ 0.72 per ton.
"Freeport Sand Manufacturers: The other main competitor for Ocean Cay is Martin Marietta in Freeport, Grand Bahama, who enjoys a full tax free and royalty free business environment under the Hawksbill Creek Agreement. "This combined with the fact that Martin Marietta is one of the strongest aggregate producers in the U.S. makes Ocean Cay's position even more disadvantageous."
In that document to the former administration obtained by National Review, Sandy Cay proposed a royalty fee rate either in line with the original lease or no more than eight percent of the sales price (typical sales price is between $8 to $30 per ton; so, a royalty fee of between $0.64 and $2.40 per ton).
The report said, "The harvesting of aragonite through mining, followed by manufacturing, classifying, shipping and distribution, is a costly process which requires significant capital investment and a strong sales and marketing costs.
"Unlike any other mined mineral, aragonite is organic and classified by the USDA as a renewable resource, meaning that Ocean Cay is not depleting a natural resource of The Bahamas.
"According to scientific data combined with carbon analysis it is proven that aragonite is forming on a daily basis on the banks of The Bahamas. Ocean Cay is merely practicing underwater agriculture by harvesting the aragonite which is growing daily.
"We hope that you sincerely appreciate the costly investment we have made in this facility to produce one of the only green renewable minerals in the world. We sincerely need your support in making this project a success, consequently your understanding of our commitment and the costs associated with this is critical in making this a success for both Ocean Cay and The Bahamas."
Profit
Again, Myers said Sandy Cay has not and is not now making a profit.
So how has it been able to stay in business and why is it still in business?
Myers told us, "Through years of scientific and market research funded by us and the acceptance of independent public institutional research, we have now finally obtained global recognition and acceptance of ooilitic aragonite as a sustainable mineral.
"Major global companies like Procter and Gamble, McDonald's and Walmart are concerned over the environmental impact of the packaging of their products.
"The ecological concern has been a catalyst for their interest in oolitic aragonite.
"And all of these companies really recognize sustainability and the need for protecting our environment.
"The also recognize the fact that this mineral is unique in the fact that it is a major contributor to carbon sequestration from our environment.
"They love how the product fits into their global concerns, but it must be fairly priced and competitive within their respective markets."
Myers added, "They think oolitic aragonite is a great replacement to normal calcium carbonate because normal calcium carbonate also uses this market, but this is much better.
"It's not damaging the environment. It's being regenerated every year and they have to show to their consumers...that they're interested in cleaning up the environment. They're interested in using ecologically sound materials."
Myers believes Sandy Cay in the future will turn a profit.
"We hope that this will generate into a business whereby we're able to sell more into the plastics market and we are slowly making some very good inroads," he told National Review.
"We've made some small steps toward a successful business, and The Bahamas will be recognized for this contribution in a fair and equitable market driven manner.
"The Bahamian people and our company shall in due course reap the rewards of the hard efforts of our governments in developing this resource."

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News Article
Nassau Container Port 'most productive'

Nassau Container Port (NCP) has beat out 24 ports in the Caribbean to be rated number one in productivity by the powerful Florida Shipowners Group, which handles the majority of the trade in the region.
NCP and Gladstone Freight Terminal, the port's inland facility, are owned and operated by APD Limited which, in turn, is owned by a partnership between the Government of The Bahamas, Arawak Cay Port Development Holdings Limited and 11,500 Bahamians.
Making the announcement of the NCP's outstanding rating in a release issued yesterday was Mike Maura Jr.., president & CEO, APD Limited.
"I am pleased to advise that the Florida Shipowners Group (FSG) has ranked the Nassau Container Port number one as the most productive port as measured by crane lifts per hour, out of a field of 24 ports in the Caribbean.This news is all the more gratifying because of its source and the metrics on which it is based," maura explained.
" The Florida Shipowners Group is made up of Crowley, CMA, Seafreight, Seaboard and Tropical who collectively carry 80 percent of all the cargo to the Caribbean and collect valuable data on this trade. On a monthly basis they submit port performance metrics to the FSG administrator who compiles the history throughout the year.
"The surveyed ports are primarily domestic ports like Nassau, which primarily handle cargo intended for the local market and, or, is exported from local manufactures and producers. FSG shares this information with the purpose encouraging ports to regularly review their productivity."
Maura added: "What really counts for us at APD is the fact that since the port began operating in 2012, the facility has effected over a 40 percent reduction in turnaround times for ships calling at Arawak Cay, which could allow shipping companies to operate their vessels far more efficiently and profitably and has brought additional benefits to local importers and other port users.
"The Nassau Container Port's reputation as a first class facility is spreading. Since operations began in 2012 the port has welcomed representatives from the port authorities of the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda and Haiti. These port authorities share a passion for excellence and have found their visit to NCP to be of great value."
NCP, Nassau's newest port, is a 56-acre port facility located on Arawak Cay, just two miles west of Downtown Nassau. The port provides facilities for both domestic and international bulk, break bulk, container and project cargo clients.
Maura said that Nassau Container Port was built and its operations designed for the highest level of security and efficiency. The port is compliant with the standards of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) code requirements and is supported by a Royal Bahamas Police Force presence. The facility features around-the-clock security, perimeter fencing, surveillance cameras and backup power and emergency fuel storage in the event of natural disaster.
"What makes all of this work is a great team. There is a constantly demonstrated synergy among the executive, managers and staff, all of whom have first-rate, exportable skills. I'm more than proud of what we have built here in a very short time and we mean to build on this success," said Maura.

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News Article
Huge business surge for BORCO projected from ruling

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (UBP) ruling in the United States in favor of Buckeye Partners LP, which owns the Bahamas Oil Refining Company's (BORCO) oil storage hub in Freeport, has been heralded as likely to lead to a major surge in business for the facility.
The ruling would allow traders to use lower-cost foreign ships to transport fuels between the Gulf of Mexico and the East Coast of the United States via BORCO, circumventing a near-century-old U.S. law called the Jones Act, according to the Reuters news agency, which first reported on the March 6 ruling on April 23.
That law demanded that U.S.-produced fuels would be moved between ports in that country using a small fleet of U.S.-flagged and crewed ships.
According to Reuters, it would cost three times more to use such ships than foreign-flagged ships.
Now fuel traders are legally permitted to export certain components of gasoline to The Bahamas on foreign-flagged ships and bring it back to the U.S. on foreign-flagged ships if it is blended at the Freeport facility to produce certain grades of fuel - RBOB and CBOB.
Messages left for representatives of Buckeye/BORCO seeking comment were not returned up to press time yesterday afternoon, however industry participants were reported as suggesting that the ruling could potentially open up a new trading route from the Gulf Coast to the East Coast.
Reuters quoted Jerry Lichtblau, director of research at True North Chartering in Wilton, Connecticut, as stating that going via The Bahamas would be "a hell of a lot cheaper" than using a Jones Act vessel.
Jones Act tankers can command as much as $100,000 a day in the spot market thanks to soaring U.S. energy production, meaning that shipping costs from the U.S. Gulf Coast to the New York Harbor can run as much as $6 per barrel, or 14 to 15 cents a gallon, shipping sources told the news agency.
Lichtblau estimated the transport costs for the same route via the BORCO terminal at less than $2 per barrel
The 25-million-barrel BORCO storage hub, the Caribbean's biggest, is located less than 100 miles (160 km) from the Florida coast.

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News Article
'Ditch Digger' takes top team honors in Wahoo Smackdown IV tourney

ALICE TOWN, Bimini -- Anglers at the Wahoo Smackdown IV Tournament in Bimini found and slammed over 27 fish, with 'Ditch Digger', captained by Manny Legakis, claiming $6,500 including first place honors with 121.01 total pounds of Wahoo caught, and second place for 'Heaviest Fish'. In that category, 'Ditch Digger' was edged out by 'Fishless' out of Miami, Florida.
'Fishless' Captain Carolos Martinez weighed in the tournament's largest Wahoo at 47.90 pounds, with 'Ditch Digger' weighing in 47.30 pounds. 'Real Truckin' out of La Belle, Florida, captained by Alex Newman, finished third in the category with 43.03 pounds.
According to Tournament Director Chase Camacho, payouts were just short of $25,000 and another $10,000 in prizes was awarded.
"We had a great show of boats and anglers and combined with the competition and camaraderie was two days of high spirits, great food and hospitality at one of the world's most famous fishing destinations courtesy of the Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina," Camacho said.
Tournament sponsors include Southern Wine & Spirits, Tito's Vodka, Sand's Brewery, G&G Shipping, Blue Coast Company, Ecoboats, Florida Yacht Interiors, Pantropic Power, King Sailfish Mounts, Blue Moon Co., Hooters, ROFF's, Bows and Bost Lures just to name a few.
Coming to Bimini April 24-27, is the Super Bowl of billfishing, a stellar squad of National Football League (NFL) Hall of Famers and legends for a one-of-a-kind tournament, matching the country's best anglers against former greats from the NFL for some hard-hitting blue water action.
With 11 Hall of Famers and six NFL legends scheduled to appear, the Hall of Fame Celebrity Billfish Invitational will feature over $250,000 in prizes, a tremendous gift bag per angler, and the opportunity to fish with a pro football Hall of Fame player or NFL legend.

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News Article
Challenge to container port plan

PALM BEACH, Florida - Months after the Freeport Container Port (FCP) projected multi-million-dollar investments based around it being the largest regional harbor, Florida has announced $77 million in dredging set to make the state the leading trans-shipment point in the area.
The plan is set to complicate what up until March had been pretty secure expansion plans for the Grand Bahama company. Florida Governor Rick Scott said the dredging of the Port of Miami will make it the hub for trade for the East Coast, if not for the country.
“We are clearly going to be the shipping capital,” he said at the Palm Beach Strategic Forum on Monday. “International trade is a ...

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