Guatemala: Direct Concession for Puerto Quetzal

A bill proposed by the executive branch proposes granting a direct concession for the operation of the Quetzal Container Terminal.

Friday, November 4, 2016

From a statement issued by the Congress of Guatemala:

The executive through the Secretary General of the Presidency, Rodrigo Colmenares presented to Congress a bill that seeks to grant the Container Terminal at Quetzal (TCQ) in concession, in a direct form.

Colmenares said the proposal was developed with a technical team that has been running the port for several days and that due to changes in "form, rather than substance that occurred last minute; they created what has been presented so far," the official concluded.

More on this topic

Pressure Growing to Tender Puerto Quetzal

January 2017

While the Morales administration insists on approval of the bill granting a direct concession of the operation of the terminal to APM Terminals, Congress has reaffirmed a position in favor of a new tender being approved.

Due to the lack of an agreement between the executive and the legislature, there has now been more than six months without any clarity on the future of the operation of the port terminal in Guatemala.

Guatemala: Puerto Quetzal Still Without Contract

November 2016

The productive sectors are urging an agreement between the President and Congress of Guatemala to formalize the concession of the container terminal to APM Terminals. reports that "...The awarding of the Quetzal Container Terminal  (TCQ by its initials in Spanish), is in the eye of the storm because there is no agreement on what is the legal method to establish a new contract. The Executive has already sent the proposal for a direct award, but opposition deputies questioned the proposed mechanism, while the private sector is urging both agencies to seek an early solution to the problem. "  

Leasing of Puerto La Union Under Consideration

June 2016

The Salvadoran government has ruled out making another tender to grant the operation of the terminal and is preparing a bill so that it can be granted under the form of a lease.

The mistakes made when trying to put out to tender, repeatedly, the operation of Puerto La Union will not be repeated again, as now a proposal has been made to change the format under which the terminal operates from a concession to a lease arrangement  The Salvadoran government insists on finding a way for La Union to be operational, even though there is not enough maritime traffic to be served by this terminal and the one in Acajutla . reports that "...The Technical and Planning secretary of the Presidency, Roberto Lorenzana said that the Executive Branch will promote to the Legislature  the Port Services Act which allows for operation of this terminal to be granted under a lease format. The official recalled that investors who initially showed interest in the project were not attracted to the idea of a concession of this port governed by the Law on Concessions, which establishes certain conditions and the payment of an initial fee and a defined cargo quota in a port with a minimum cargo handling and which is located in an 'inappropriate' place. "

In this regard, the executive director of Coexport, Silvia Cuellar, "... said although offering facilities will probably help attract investors, they are concerned that the discussion of what to do with the port is advancing slowly, while other terminals such as Puerto Cortes in Honduras and Puerto Santo Tomas de Castilla in Guatemala are undertaking improvement projects to attract more cargo to their facilities. "

See Articles: "A 'White Elephant' in La Union"

Maersk Group could be the Concessionaire of Puerto Quetzal

April 2016

The acquisition of TCB by APM Terminals means that any dispute concerning the granting of Puerto Quetzal will involve the largest group in the world in the maritime sector, the Maersk shipping company.

Following the Public Ministry's denouncement of the existence of an illicit money laundering network operating in the Container Terminal at Quetzal , the government of Jimmy Morales is torn between declaring void the concession contract with the current operator, TCB, as recommended by the Attorney General's Office on several occasions, or making other arrangements with the company. The Morales government may have to negotiate with the Danish giant Maersk Group, which bought 100% of the shares of the Spanish TCB in October 2015, according to an article on

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