World’s Largest Terminal Operator Will Run Haiti’s First Panamax Port
MIAMI, March 26, 2015 – GB Group, a diversified collection of industrial and trading companies, today announced that it has hired SSA Marine to oversee the port and terminal operations at Port Lafito, a world class modern container port currently under construction in Haiti. SSA Marine is the world’s largest independent, privately-held marine terminal operator.
“Port Lafito marks our first operation in Haiti, opening our business to a whole new market and maintaining our success of operating cargo terminals in different parts of the world,” said Carlos Urriola, senior vice president with SSA Marine. “We are eager to not only grow our company’s reach, but also to bring economic expansion to Haiti by attracting more business imports.”
Port Lafito will be Haiti’s first Panamax Port and will bring the country to the forefront of modern logistics with state of the art equipment and technology. The $80 million port is a private, public and international partnership between Haitian and foreign private sectors and includes investments from the Haitian State bank, the International Finance Corporation and FMO- the Dutch Development Bank. Operations at the port are scheduled to begin April of 2015.
Port Lafito is the centerpiece of the Lafito global economic zone, which will include a brand new state of the art referral hospital, an industrial free zone, a power plant a business park and residential area among more. This will drive the creation of more than 25,000 new jobs in Haiti by 2018, foster a new vibrant economic social center, establish attractive regional logistics and become an industrial hub for the Caribbean.
Haiti is strategically located to serve international companies looking to supply the U.S. markets by taking advantage of the commercial and fiscal benefits that the bilateral agreement between the U.S. and Haiti (Hope/Help Act) provides.
“This visionary project that we began in 2010 is an opportunity for Haiti to progress both economically and socially and will serve as the standard for others who will see the opportunities that exist in this beautiful country,” said Reuven Bigio, CEO of GB Group. “Having an operator of the caliber of SSA Marine further validates the potential of Port Lafito.”
A project of this magnitude is the first of its kind in Haiti and was made possible by the change in policy of the Martelly Government. It is a powerful concept, providing modern and efficient logistics and manufacturing space with residential and leisure areas to solve the needs of both the local and international investors. Port Lafito and Lafito Global will impact the more than 10 million in Haiti while generating more skilled labor in Haiti. Port Lafito has already invested hundreds of hours into training local workers in welding, construction, equipment operation, among others.
With more than 100 years of experience contributing to Haiti’s economic outlook and landscape through its numerous business ventures, GB Group is well positioned to lead this development effort which is expected to have a significant economic impact on the country, by adding skilled jobs and creating much needed wealth for the population as a whole.
About GB Group
GB Group is a leading, diversified group of industrial and trading companies in the Caribbean, with operations concentrated in Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and St. Maarten and offices in the United States. Comprised of 22 companies from 9 different divisions including agriculture, construction, consumer goods, energy, finance, infrastructure, logistics, media and trading, GB Group collaborates with more than 4,000 employees and embraces managers from more than 15 countries companywide. GB Group and its operating companies have strategic alliances and/or partnerships with some the world’s top business organizations. The company’s current endeavors include the $80 million Port Lafito project, which is Haiti’s first Panamax port.