Responding to the desperate need for new and expanded port infrastructure to serve earthquake recovery efforts, as well as to address the long-term shipping needs of the country, Haiti-based WIN Group and South Florida-based Sante Holding today announced having reached an agreement to re-develop Terminal Varreux, S.A. in Port-Au-Prince, the largest privately-owned shipping terminal and port facility in Haiti.
The fourth generation WIN Group is one of the Caribbean’s largest conglomerates, with stakes in multiple industries. Sante Holding is headed by Charles Towsley, former director of the Port of Miami, and one of the maritime industry’s most respected professionals.
Sante’s team is partnering with the Rovirosa family, well renowned marine port operators, who currently operate terminals in the Port of Miami and Port Everglades, Florida. The Rovirosa’s will ensure that all areas of expertise are represented in this new U.S.-Haiti private sector partnership, and will develop, manage and operate the new modern container shipping terminal facility at Terminal Varreux.
Terminal Varreux currently consists of multiple berths connected to liquid and dry bulk pumping pipelines. The facility was damaged during the recent earthquake, but quickly repaired in order to allow crucial tanker shipments of fuel to Haiti, as Terminal Varreux receives and stores more than 70% of Haiti’s fuel.
The redevelopment plans include a new port, additional jetties and a state of the art 150 acre terminal open to all maritime lines looking to efficiently service Haiti. The expansion will include a modern container and break-bulk shipping terminal and ancillary facilities to service both the short and long-term shipping needs of Haiti. The agreement also includes remediation and expansion of existing piers.
Under the terms of the agreement, WIN Group will retain control of the dry bulk, liquid bulk and petroleum operations, while the new facilities will be operated by the new joint venture. Feasibility plans are currently being completed with specific project time-frames due to be announced shortly.
“Once completed, this project will not only support Haiti’s ongoing relief efforts, but lay the foundation for the overall modernization of the country’s shipping industry,” said Youri Mevs, managing partner of WIN Group.
“The creation of the new port facilities will greatly increase the capacity of Port-au-Prince to accommodate the on-going demand for relief and recovery cargo into Haiti,” adds port development expert and Sante Holding CEO & Chairman, Bruno E. Ramos, AIA. “Long-term, this is an ideal facility to serve projects such as the West Indies Free Zone, WIN Group’s $45 million industrial park to be developed along with the Soros Economic Development Fund near Port-au-Prince’s impoverished Cite Soleil neighborhood, a project temporarily halted because of the earthquake.
“We are extremely pleased to have entered into this agreement with Sante Holding,” concludes Mevs. “WIN Group’s localized expertise, coupled with Sante’s vast experience in port development and operations, along with the pro-business, pro-private sector movement orchestrated by the Haitian government and encouraged by international finance institutions, creates the ideal launching pad for addressing Haiti’s long-term infrastructure needs.”