Buckeye Bahamas Hub Ltd. in conjunction with KOTUG Seabulk Maritime christened four new vessels, during an official Tugboat Inauguration and Christening Ceremony at the Freeport Harbour Berth II on Monday (May 1).
Khalid Muslih, Executive Vice President, Global Marine Terminals, Buckeye Partners L.P stated that he was truly honored to represent the company at the christening of four state-of-the art tug boats – the RT Raptor, RT Blackbeard, SD Calypso, and the SD Junkanoo.
Muslih noted that in addition to the celebration for the new tugboats, another reason they decided to celebrate was regarding Buckeye’s dedication to safety.
“The Bahamas Hub employees are some of the most dedicated professionals that I have had the pleasure of working with and they have an unwavering commitment to safety, which is another reason to celebrate today,” he said.
Noting that safety is their number one priority, Muslih reported that the company has gone two years and nearly one million man-hours of work without a single major injury or accident.
The ceremony continued with remarks by Minister for Grand Bahama, Dr. Michael Darville.
Darville shared remarks on behalf of Prime Minster Perry Christie, who was the featured speaker; however, he was unable to attend the ceremony.
Darville stated that the four vessels would contribute to Buckeye’s efficiency and more.
“These will not only improve Buckeye’s functioning capabilities, but contribute to greater operational efficiency and at the same time enhance the living and working accommodations of the Bahamian workers who will board these tugboats,” he said.
He expressed gratitude to Buckeye especially following Hurricane Matthew, which devastated Grand Bahama in October 2016 and pledged the government’s continued support of the company and their investments on the island.
Clark C. Smith Chairman, President and CEO of Buckeye Partners LP noted that Buckeye’s future in The Bahamas is very bright and thanked Muslih for his leadership, specifically in the recovery efforts after Matthew.
Ard-Jan Kooren, Director of KOTUG Seabulk Maritime, President and CEO of KOTUG stated that the company is committed to working within the unique and beautiful environment of The Bahamas.
Ramon Pitter, Vice President Business Development of SEACOR Ocean Transport took the opportunity to thank various groups and individuals, including Nicole Colebrooke, Customer Relations Manager of the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA).
According to Pitter, Colebrooke was instrumental in guiding them through their licensing process.
He also thanked Bahamas Customs and Immigration and local partners.
Buckeye recently entered into a long-term agreement with KOTUG Seabulk Maritime LLC (KSM) to provide four new state-of-the-art tugboats and a barge to support the company’s Freeport terminal operations.
KOTUG Seabulk Maritime LLC, a joint venture between KOTUG International and Seabulk Towing, two highly respected companies that together bring over 170 years of valuable global experiences covering terminal operations, offshore and salvage support activities and harbor towing and assist capabilities.
Executives of the GBPA, including Sarah St. George, Vice Chairman as well as government departments were also in attendance.