Family-owned company South Puerto Rico Towing & Boat Service Inc. is looking to grow this year due to financing totaling $11.7 million approved by FirstBank, the 504 program of the Small Business Administration (SBA), and COFFEC.
The company will put the money toward the purchase of a tugboat, improvements to an existing tugboat, and debt refinancing.
For the past 64 years, the company has provided local and international tugboat services to private companies, the government, and individual clients, primarily in the ports of Guayanilla, Ponce, Tallaboa, Guánica, and Mayagüez.
The new vessel that South Puerto Rico Towing & Boat Service bought, which it christened “Nydia P,” is a Maltese Cross A1 class boat with high-tech machinery and a high degree of automation that allows for a 360º turn.
“The financing granted to South Puerto Rico Towing & Boat Service will help it to continue being the l leading tugboat service provider in the southwestern region of Puerto Rico. This will have a positive effect on Guayanilla and bordering towns, because it translates into an opportunity to increase the services they offer their clients,” said René López, senior vice president of commercial banking at FirstBank.
“At the same time, it will stimulate job creation at a time when the economy has been affected by the recent seismic events,” López said.
The company now has a fleet of six tugboats, which offer services for the entrance and exiting of ships and barges transporting liquefied natural gas, propane gas, petroleum and its derivatives, tar, containers, general cargo, molasses, feed for cattle, and cruise ships whenever required in the southwestern ports of Puerto Rico.
“This financing allows us to increase the number of trips we make and to satisfy the demand for our services,” said Nydia Padilla, president of South Puerto Rico Towing & Boat Service Inc.