September 28, 2006
Maritrans expects Jones Act waiver impact on earnings to be minimal
Maritrans Inc. (NYSE:TUG) says that, after a brief interruption at the height of Hurricane Rita, all of its vessels are operating at pre-storm utilization levels and that there was no physical damage to its fleet or injury to the crews aboard the vessels.
Maritrans notes that, as after the massive impact of Hurricane Katrina on the petroleum refining infrastructure, yesterday the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security issued a time-limited waiver of the Jones Act, which restricts U.S. coastwise shipping to U.S. vessels owned and operated by U.S. companies with U.S. seafarers.
The waiver expires on October 24, 2005. The company believes that the effect of this limited waiver on its results will be minimal
n anticipation of Rita, Maritrans either positioned its vessels in the western Gulf of Mexico or kept the vessels in port, which reduced any potential for impact from the hurricane.
In total, the company estimates it lost approximately 11 vessel operating days to Rita related delays.
Maritrans' vessels continue to load at originally scheduled customer locations or at alternative ports, based on its customers' needs.
For those areas that had been previously impacted by Katrina, such as the refineries in Louisiana and Mississippi, more than half of the customer's capacity has returned to service at this time.
For those that have not yet returned to service, Maritrans is continuing to load at alternative ports to meet those customers' needs.