BY MAUREEN N. MARATITA
Journal Staff

The M/T Polaris is due to be christened on Dec. 7 at the PACDIM facility at the Port of Guam.
Photo courtesy of Cabras Marine Corp.

Cabras Marine Corp.’s Pacific Dry-dock and Integrated Maintenance facility is due to host a happy event for the second time in recent memory.

On Dec. 7, PACDIM plans to hold a christening party for one of two of its latest acquisitions — the Polaris and Mågas tugboats, purchased at what Cabras Marine told the Journal is a combined investment of $4.5 million. The tugs were acquired in Australia and mobilized to Guam after brief drydocking in the Philippines, according to Cabras Marine.

The vessels are due to be put to work to support harbor operations in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.

The tugs weigh in with a 257 gross tonnage each and a length of more than 91 feet, and have their own generators, all navigation and communication equipment, and a fire-fighting capability and will take the tugboat fleet to 12 docking/undocking tugs.

Joseph L. Cruz, president of Cabras Marine, told the Journal the reason for additions to its tug fleet is straightforward. “Expansion and modernization of Cabras Marine Corp.’s tug fleet supports growth in regional vessel traffic, in compliance with stringent U.S. regulatory compliance requirements. The combined investment of $4.5 million for Polaris and Mågas follows the recent acquisition of four additional docking/undocking tugs in 2017,” he said.

According to Journal files, the vessels purchased in 2017 were the M/T Hurao and the M/T Endurance — sister harbor tugs purchased for $5 million from Keppel Smit Towage in Hong Kong at the end of 2019, both of which arrived in Guam in early 2020. The M/T Endeavor was purchased from Pacific Tugs in San Diego, Calif.  It was purchased together with the M/V Triton — an offshore supply/freight vessel — from P&R Water Taxi in Honolulu.

As to the economy, Cruz said the corporation “remains bullish on the regional economic outlook and is positioned to respond to growth in volume and frequency of activity for the foreseeable future.”

Lack of manpower affects Cabras as much as other businesses. “Availability of skilled labor remains a challenge for all industries and Cabras Marine Corp. has committed to developing its internal workforce to support current and future demands,” he said. “Cabras Marine Corp. continues to highly prioritize workforce development in partnership with the Guam Community College – with 80 apprentices graduated or currently enrolled to date.”

In addition, Cruz said, “Cabras Marine Corp. recently opened its maritime training facility to support growth and development of licensed maritime personnel for Guam and the CNMI.” mbj