Monday, July 16, 2018

Puerto Rico Ports Authority, America Cruise Ferries sign letter of intent

By on July 5, 2018

Port Authority Executive Director Anthony Maceira and America Cruise Ferries President Néstor González sign a letter of intent for a pre-design study of future Ferries del Caribe facilities. (Courtesy photo)

SAN JUAN – The executive director of the Puerto Rico Ports Authority, Anthony Maceira, and the president of America Cruise Ferries, Néstor González, signed a letter of intent Thursday in which Ports and the parent company of Ferries del Caribe agreed to begin pre-design work for the development of new facilities to expand operations between the island and the Dominican Republic.

In a press release, Maceira said that privately financed infrastructure project will begin to be executed after several months of negotiation, and explained that Ferries del Caribe will contract professionals to perform a “preliminary design of a new terminal and facilities in docks 15 and 16 in the Port of San Juan, in order to estimate the costs” of the development.

“With projects like this,” the official said, “we continue to optimize the assets of the Port Authority, put properties in disuse to produce, and promote the creation of jobs,” adding that Ferries del Caribe will pay for this first phase of development and that the proposed project will not “require investment credits.”

González said in the release that Ferries del Caribe’s plan includes the construction of a new passenger terminal as well as facilities such as a warehouse to store and process containers and other cargo equipment.

“The total investment is estimated at approximately $15 million, subject to the final results of the design study to be carried out. Ferries del Caribe generates approximately 500 direct jobs and another 700 indirect ones, and it is estimated that the new facilities would create about 100 new jobs,” González said.

Ferries del Caribe currently operates from Pan American Dock II in Isla Grande, from where it makes three weekly trips to the Dominican Republic, transporting about 110,000 passengers and 13,000 passenger vehicles annually, according to the release, which adds that the company’s cargo divisions, Marine Express and Priority Ro-Ro Services Inc., move about 85% of the cargo between both islands.

Once the final design for the development of the project is decided, the parties would then enter into a formal long-term lease and development agreement.

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