Tinian Shipping Cites $33M Loss

Monday, March 06, 2006
Tinian Shipping & Transportation Inc. said it incurred losses of more than $33 million over 10 years of operations. Despite this, TSTI will continue to operate the ferry services. In return, TSTI is asking the CPA board of directors to waive its lease rentals or at least peg it at a minimal rate for 40 years. It also asked that it be allowed it to build a drydock facility for the repair and maintenance of its vessels. TSTI has been providing ferry services between Saipan and Tinian not only to its customers but also to the entire public since 1996. TSTI is a sister company of Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino.

In pushing for the drydock facility, TSTI said it could not repair Tinian Express-one of its only two ferries plying the route between Tinian and Saipan-since it ran aground in October 2005. TSTI has since been using only the Saipan Express twice a day between the two islands. The only alternative now is to tow the vessel to either mainland China or Hong Kong, which would be very costly. The proposed facility would be open to other vessels under 160 tons for repair, inspection, and maintenance. The company proposes to initially invest $1 million to build the facility.

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