When you imagine the Bahamas, you probably think of pristine beaches, palm trees and perhaps a few yachts sprinkled out in the distant ocean. You probably never imagine that the Bahamas are also home to the 10th largest port in Latin America & the Caribbean (Freeport), as well as a booming oil storage terminal business due to the islands’ close proximity to the giant U.S. oil market.

SVITZER has been present in the Bahamas through Freepoint Tug and Towing Services (FTTS) since 1995. FTTS is 50 % owned by  SVITZER Americas Ltd. and 50 % owned by Statoil South Riding Point (SSRP) with SVITZER acting as the managing partner and head offices located in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

Statoil, a Norwegian based international oil company, is one of SVITZER’s largest Customers worldwide. Statoil purchased the oil storage and transshipment terminal, South Riding Point, in late 2009 and completed a three-month long terminal upgrade and expansion in March 2011. As part of the terminal upgrade, SVITZER is supplying two 65 TBP newbuild tugs and one launch to Statoil on a 15-year timecharter contract. SVITZER’s global cooperation with Statoil, experience servicing oil terminals, and strong safety records were all key factors in choosing SVITZER to service the terminal. 

The tugs, SVITZER LUCAYA and SVITZER NASSAU, were constructed at the Zhenjiang shipyard in China and journeyed over 10,000 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean and through the Panama Canal to finally arrive at South Riding Point terminal. The 29 person launch, the MABLE, was built by Damen Shipyards in Singapore and was named so in honor of the wife of Statoil’s Oil Movement Manager, Drexel Pinder. 

The contract began on 1 March 2011 and has successfully brought in 14 tankers at the time of going to print, despite having to shut down a few days in August due to Hurricane Irene.

In reference to the christening and start-up  of the MABLE, terminal manager Delton Russell remarked, “Here at Statoil we take our time and we do it right! This vessel reflects our commitment to continued improvements to our risk management portfolio and our assurance to maintain and upgrade the technical integrity of our facility.” 

Combine this with SVITZER’s ‘Do it safely or not at all’ mentality, and SVITZER and Statoil make the perfect match.

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