QCOSTARICA – The new US$34 million dollar “granelero” (bulk) dock at the Caldera port, in Puntarenas (Pacific coast) was ready in November, and was to have been operational by mid december, but due to red tape the dock sits idle.
The delay is that the president of the Costa Rican Institute of Pacific Ports (Spanish: Instituto Costarricense de Puertos del Pacífico or INCOP) has to give the nod to the new rates.
But, the INCOP has been headless, with the resignation in December of Jorge Luis Loría Núñez, and the appointment of Lianette Medina Zamora was not made until last week, on January 27.
“The dock has been ready since last year, but we depend on INCCOP to begin work”, said Emilio Vargas, spokesperson for the port concessionaire, the Sociedad Portuaria de Caldera (SPC).
The ministro de Obras Públicas y Transportes (MOPT), Carlos Segnini, said the appointment of the new INCOP president was complicated and called the delay “regrettable”.
The new dock is a project in the making for the last eight years and the delay, among other problems, was due to the objections by the National Association of Public Employees (Spanish: Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos or ANEP) to the Constitutional Court. The main objection by the ANEP was environmental damage.
Caldera is the main port of entry for corn, soy, sodium carbonate, gypsum and coal, among others.
The delay costs us all. Today ships have to wait up to five days to unload, costing up to US$30.000 daily that is passed on to the end consumer.
At 180 metres long and slab that can withstand up to 6 tons per square metre, the dock is multi-use, ie. it can handle general cargo and containers. Once operational it will employ 150 people.
Via La Nacion