Sint Maarten Explores Transshipment Port and LNG Transition in Puerto Rico

November 7, 2023 9:26 pm

Philipsburg--November 3, 2023 – A delegation from Sint Maarten, led by the Honorable Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation & Telecommunication (TEATT), Arthur Lambriex, recently undertook a significant trip to Puerto Rico to explore the promising benefits and opportunities of a transshipment port and the transition from heavy fuel to Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) for Sint Maarten. The delegation, which included Francisco Lacroes, Chief of Cabinet for TEATT, and a representative from the SXM Harbor, visited Crowley to witness its capabilities and evaluate how this endeavor could establish a solid economic foundation for Sint Maarten while diversifying the nation's economy and ensure its overall sustainability. A release issued by Minister Lambriex underscored the importance of the proposed transshipment, saying it holds considerable promise for Sint Maarten, representing a vital step towards expanding the Country's economy. Additionally, it allows cruise ships to access the port facility, reducing their carbon footprint. Minister Lambriex has pledged his commitment to "do everything necessary to ensure that St. Maarten remains ahead of other Caribbean Countries in terms of energy supply and cruise industry satisfaction. He noted that the transition to Liquefied Natural Gas LNG was a significant topic of discussion at the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association FCCA conference earlier this year, where many Cruise Ships have already been retrofitted to accommodate the use of the cleaner, cost-efficient LNG as their source of energy. "This venture has garnered substantial support from my person and forms part of a commitment from the United People's UPP Party for improvements in energy supply and economic activity," said Lacroes. According to the press release, "Crowley has shown significant interest in this undertaking, as confirmed in their correspondence dated September 6, 2023. Their enthusiasm further reinforces the belief that this project is the optimal course of action for the betterment of Sint Maarten." A roadmap detailing how this will be accomplished has been drafted at the instruction of Minister Lambriex, which he has shared with the Council of Ministers. In terms of size and significance, this endeavor far exceeds any previous initiatives aimed at I governmental budgets and diversifying income-generating possibilities. Establishing a transshipment port in Sint Maarten has the potential to reshape the economic landscape of the Country, fostering growth, prosperity, and sustainability. By seizing this opportunity, Sint Maarten aims to create not only new avenues of commerce but also to bolster its financial stability for the long term. "Through this visit to Puerto Rico and assessing Crowley's capabilities, we have witnessed the tremendous potential this project holds for Sint Maarten. We are committed to ensuring the realization of this venture, as it represents a pivotal moment for our Country's economic future," said Lacroes. Minister Lambriex said, "Sint Maarten seeks robust partnerships and collaboration to turn this vision into reality. The project necessitates ongoing stakeholder dialogue, further assessments, and meticulous planning." The release also stated that with unwavering support from the Ministry of TEATT, combined with the keen interest of Crowley, there is confidence in the ability to progress and bring this transshipment port to fruition. In the long term, this development is projected to reduce electricity bills by 40-50%, marking a significant economic and environmental benefit for Sint Maarten.