Multipurpose terminal opened
Ten years after the project was launched, the Puerto Aguadulce joint terminal near Buenaventura (Colombia) was officially inaugurated. ICTSI and PSA International can reap what they have sown, supported by the expanded Panama Canal in the background.
Buenaventura, a maritime gateway on Colombia’s Pacific coast, recently had cause for celebration. Two of the world’s major terminal operators, namely the Philippine’s ICTSI and Singapore’s PSA International, officially opened Puerto Aguadulce, a jointly-managed terminal. The new facility, a part of the port of Buenaventura, momentarily put logistics centre stage in the country, with the president of the republic of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, attending the inauguration.
First construction phase complete
Buenaventura is the Latin American country’s most crucial gateway on the Pacific coast. The hub, which owes its importance to the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914, is a very good location for a multi-user container and bulk terminal.
The first phase of a total of three construction periods was successfully completed recently. The facility can handle mega-container vessels with capacities of up to 18,000 teu, as well as bulk cargo vessels. The terminal, with its two box berths now operational, now offers its customers an annual handling capacity of 550,000 teu. The bulk terminal, in turn, has the capacity to handle approximately 2 million t of freight throughput annually.Total investment in the hub amounts to approximately USD 550 million.
ICTSI completed the initial groundwork for the project in 2007, when it acquired stakes in two Panamanian companies, thus gaining control of the Sociedad Puerto Industrial de Aguadulce (SPIA). SPIA was awarded a 30-year concession to develop, construct and operate a container, grains and coal handling facility in Aguadulce by the Colombian authorities concerned. Construction of the container terminal commenced in 2008 and trial operations subsequently were launched in November 2016.
Comprehensive Latin American portfolios
ICTSI – actually International Container Terminal Services, Inc, to give it its full name – has thus rounded off its already strong position in Central and South America, where it operates two terminals in Mexico as well as further facilities in Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador and Honduras. For PSA International, which joined the venture in 2013, this is the third site in Latin America, coming in addition to facilities in Argentina and Panama. Together with their subsidiaries, the two partners ICTSI and PSA International control 91.28% of the shares in SPIA.
President Santos said that “it’s very important to have dreams. And ever so satisfying for everyone involved when they become reality – which is why we’re here today to inaugurate this facility.” ICTSI executive vice-president Martin O’Neil praised the collaboration between foreign partners and local stakeholders, before adding that “we’ve always been bullish on Colombia. We believe its economy is one of the key drivers to push Latin America into a strong future.”