Growth demands Central American port expansions

Work to expand and upgrade ports in Central America is coming in fits and starts as port authorities and national governments grapple with governance and social issues.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

“All of the Central American ports have some expansion in mind, some more than others,” said Mike Hopkins, vice president of operations in the U.S. for Crowley Maritime Corp., a shipping line active in the U.S. trades with Central America and the Caribbean.

No longer are Central America’s ports merely “dry canal connection points for big ships coming from Asia and Europe,” Hopkins said. “The growth rate of all of the Central America countries is sufficient in itself to warrant port and infrastructure expansions.”

He pointed to the expansion of Puerto Cortes, Honduras, as “the largest development in motion.” Press reports from the region cite issues surrounding numerous other projects. Some examples:

More on this topic

Panama: Expansion of the Port of Rodman

December 2015

PSA Panama plans to invest $450 million in the expansion, starting in 2017 with the construction of 800 meters of additional quays and the installation of eight gantry cranes and 12 RTG cranes.

From the press release by Global PSA:

With the beginning of the quay and dredging works, a major step forward has been taken to transform PSA Panama International Terminal into a 2 million-TEU (20-foot equivalent units) facility.

Expansion of Puerto Santo Tomas Announced

July 2012

In 2013 the construction of bulk carriers and cruise ship docks will begin along with the expansion of the beaches for containers.

Currently the port measures 914 meters, and the works will extend the area by approximately 600 meters.

Luis Alberto Gomez, controller of the port terminal told the press, "We want to improve the infrastructure and machinery to keep the port at the forefront in Central America."

$ 135 Million Expansion in Honduras’s Puerto Cortes

December 2010

The IDB loan will finance the dredging of the harbor and port locations as well as the construction of a new container terminal.

Honduras will expand and modernize the largest port in Central America with funding provided by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for a total of $ 135 million.

Guatemala: Remodeling of port to cost more than $120 million

August 2008

The first phase of the remodeling of the Santo Tomas de Castilla Port will be done with a loan from the BCIE (the Central American Bank for Economic Integration) to build new yards for storing containers.

One of the biggest projects by the Government of Alvaro Colom and Rafael Espada, it could start before the end of the year.

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