Point Lisas: A Caribbean ship repair business looks to be finally getting off the ground, in no small part aided by the imminent opening of the expanded Panama Canal.
The Caribbean region suffers from a paucity of drydocking options, claims Etienne Mendez, the chairman and CEO of the Trinidad Dry Dock Company Limited (TDDCL).
TDDCL was founded 11 years ago. Its first yard construction is likely to get underway in the second quarter of next year with dredging, sheet piling and the creation of the 75 ha Sullivan Island and its 4km causeway link to connect the Port of Spain Dry Docks to Trinidad’s highway network..
“We anticipate completion of the core facilities and the docking of our first vessel by 2020,” Mendez says. The completed facility will have a total capacity of 1.4m dwt across five graving docks of varying sizes, and possibly two floating docks of smaller size. The largest of the graving docks is 440 m x 80 m and the smallest is 220 m x 40 m. The site will also have 3,650 m of berthing quay.
“We shall be seeking partnerships with successful drydock operators, whom have an interest in operating facilities in the western hemisphere,” Mendez says.
“The current Panama Canal expansion will place an additional 16,000 transits of the new panamax size vessels within close proximity to Port of Spain, and there may be opportunities there as well to service some of these vessels with some transhipment synergies,” he claims.
Mendez says the western hemisphere is plagued with “chronic” under capacity of drydock space with a mere 16% of global capacity resident on this side of the world.