RANSA is a group composed of Peruvian, Chilean and Salvadoran investors. Its president, Raúl Álvarez Belismelis, stated that the country is losing development opportunities due to lack of definition on how to operate Port La Unión.
"The port could be a very attractive project, an ambitious, regional endeavor. Delays only cause additional damage to the country", stated Álvarez, in an article in newspaper La Prensa Gráfica".
The $3 million project to redesign the Salvadoran Port is expected to begin in February.
Guillermo López Suarez, head of CEPA, the Port Authority, explained that the project will be carried out in three phases, ending around the end of 2010.
"The official confirmed that works will be conducted under a scheduled, staged program, to avoid interfering with the arrival of those ships who are already expected to dock at the port", reported Elsalvador.com.
The combined concession of the La Unión and Acajutla ports is said to interest the Dutch company.
"El Salvador is not a very big country, these ports are not very big either. As such I think it makes sense for them to managed under one administration in order to make them more efficient," APM Terminals' Latin America manager, Henrik Pedersen, told BNamericas.
CEPA finances will only allow them to invest $21.8 million that is considered critical to maintaining operations in 2009.
The Executive Autonomous Port Commission (CEPA) of El Salvador has committed its finances to the payment of the loan from the Japanese JBIC Bank for the construction of La Unión Port, leaving few resources for other investments.
Spain's Royal Academy defines a "White Elephant" as something that is "expensive to maintain and has no useful purpose". Like the Port of La Union.
Without ever taking off to become the port that was promised, La Union can now add to its dismal history the increased cost of funding due to the differential between the dollar – the currency in which the meager income of the port is received - and the Japanese yen, the currency in which the loan was negotiated with the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) to build it.
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