Q COSTA RICA – A rumour that has been in the streets of port city of Limón for almost a decade is closer to becoming a reality. On February 3, the international consortium America’s Gateway Development Corporation (AMEGA) got the green light from the National Concessions Council (CNC) to begin technical studies and apply for a permit to build a transhipment port, with an estimated investment of US$1 billion.
The consortium has a period of one year to carry out technical, and economic studies, design of plans and applications for environmental permits, after which the CNC will review and decide whether or not to grant the construction and administration of the project.
The tender phase will be public and will be open for any party interested in participating. According to the legislation, if at the end of the tender process, the work is awarded to a company other than AMEGA, the successful tenderer must compensate AMEGA for the expenses incurred.
The project consists of the development of a large container transfer terminal to be built on a site north-east of the current TCM port in Moín, with at least a dozen gantry cranes and eight simultaneous docking positions.
The cargo handled there will not be destined for Costa Rica but will be transferred to smaller ships that will then go to their port of destination in other parts of the continent, taking advantage of the proximity to the Panama Canal.
According to AMEGA, the megaterminal port would employ 3,000 people during construction and 1,000 in operation.
In the best of scenarios construction could begin in two years.
José Aponte, port manager of the Administración Portuaria y de Desarrollo Económico de la Vertiente Atlántica (Japdeva) – Port Authority and Economic Development Board of the Atlantic Coast – stated that this project would be a new and important source of employment for the region.
If the project becomes reality, Japdeva would be in charge of supervising the operation of the new port.