|Venezuelan group expands KTK-Panama fleet with 2 new tugboats|
|Thursday, 11 October 2012 15:42|
WILLEMSTAD — A group of anonymous CPA-employees, who were heard from regularly the past years during the many changes within government company Curaçao Ports Authority (CPA), speak of a possible profitable situation for the Venezuelan group in Panama (former KTK-branch, (editorial office)) after Damen Shipyards delivered two ‘brand-new tugboats for the former KTK-branch in Panama’.
The website from Damen states the following on the two tugboats: “The two ASD 2810-tugboats, ‘Virgen del Valle’ and ‘Arcangel San Miguel’ left Vietnam for Panama on September 29th to be transferred to the owner of the Meyers Group - MMG Shipping Group (www.meyersgrp.com). Both vessels were built by Damen Shipyards at Song Cam Shipyard in Vietnam.” The 28.67-meter long tugboats are equipped with two Caterpillar 3516 C TA HD/C-engines and reached a speed of 13.7 knots with a towing power of 60 tons during the test phase.
The group CPA-employees further state: “These two tugboats are similar to those of KTK on Curaçao but are newer models because they were built this year. The tugboats Virgen de Valle and Arcangel San Miguel will arrive in Panama early December.
With this the Meyers Group clearly demonstrates the confidence it has in the towage activities in Panama and in the brilliant future of the former KTK-Panama, a company that had belonged to the people of Curaçao. According to the former minister of Economic Development, Abdul Nasser El Hakim (MFK) and the interim-director of CPA, Humberto de Castro, the KTK-branch concerned was shut down because it wasn’t turning a profit. “It’s still fresh in the memory of the people when former minister El Hakim sold government company KTK-Panama to a Venezuelan group last year, announcing ‘this nightmare is over’. However, these days the people of Curaçao are to watch while this Venezuelan group expands”, said the CPA-employees.
The group of employees further refers to an announcement from CPA interim-director in a press report ‘that the Meyers Group would replace the new tugboats from Curaçao in Panama with old tugboats in order to lower the costs’. “Today, we see that the Meyers Group bought two brand-new tugboats from Damen Shipyards to modernize and expand their fleet in anticipation of the broadening out of the Panama Canal”, said the CPA-employees. They also point out that KTK-Panama is not mentioned on the website of Damen Shipyards or Meyers Group. “Former minister El Hakim and chairman of the board Amparo Dos Santos stated that KTK-Panama would eventually turn a profit for Curaçao, but of course the people don’t believe it. It’s old news to the people that the KTK-tugboats from the branch in Panama are transferred to Venezuela. In total 5 KTK-tugboats are now in operation in Venezuela. This way KTK puts all the eggs in one basket, casting away the golden opportunity for growth on the Panamanian market. Nor had KTK grabbed the opportunity to detach itself from its sole client, namely Venezuela”, said the group of CPA-employees.