Jacksonville Port Authority's board of directors has reportedly
scheduled a special meeting for Thursday to discuss a proposal by Gulftainer Co. Ltd. to lease port acreage.
Both the Florida Times-Union
and Jacksonville Business Journal
said last week the port turned down a proposal from Gulftainer to lease about 100 acres of land at the Blount Island area of the port.
Gulftainer is a 36-year-old company that operates container terminals in Khorfakkan, Sharjah, and has an agreement with the plastics company Borouge to provide onsite cargo handing in Ruwais. Those operations are in the United Arab Emirates where Gultainer is headquartered.
In recent years Gulftainer has begun to expand to other countries. It was awarded in 2010 a concession to operate a berth in Umm Qasr, Iraq, and last year signed agreements to operate in Recife, Brazil, and at Ust-Luga Port near St. Petersburg, Russia. In 2011, it handled a total of 3.2 million TEUs.
reported Jaxport told Gulftainer that its interest in leasing a portion of Blount Island did not fit into a strategic plan the port is developing.
The newspaper quoted Jaxport Board Vice Chairman Stephen Busey as saying the special meeting was being held so board members can get a presentation from Chief Executive Officer Paul Anderson. Busey told the newspaper it will discuss "when can the staff act unilaterally and when should they invite board participation" before turning down a proposal."
In 2006, the purchase of U.S. terminals owned by the P&O Group by DP World, another UAE-based company, caused a political flap in the United States and the U.S. terminals were later sold to American International Group. Today those terminals are part of Ports America which is owned by Highstar Capital. - Chris Dupin