Pressure Growing to Tender Puerto Quetzal

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.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

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. reports that "...Among the arguments (against the direct grant) it is that there is an open investigation related to TCQ by the Public Ministry (MP) and the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG)."  

"...A new tender process should be launched, and not a concession granted without the prior adherence to the procedures established in the regulations, because that would provide the continuity to favor a certain company" is the position set out by parliamentarians."

See details of the bill to provide a direct grant.

"... On November 23, 2016 the shareholder company of Container Terminal Quetzal (TCQ), APM Terminals, ruled against holding a tender to obtain operation of that construction. APM Terminals' argument was that TCQ would not compete on an equal footing with other bidders who have not made prior investments and do not face the same risk or loss by participating in the contest, which would be left unoperational during the duration of the tender."

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Another Company Interested in Puerto Quetzal

January 2017

While pressure grows in Guatemala for the contract with APM Terminals to be annulled, the US company American Ports has expressed interest in operating the port.

Following opposition on the part of Congress to the possibility of approving a bill put forward by the executive branch proposing the granting of a direct concession to APM Terminals, now the Comptroller General of Accounts (CGC) has recommended declaring the contract void and starting a new process.

Guatemala: Direct Concession for Puerto Quetzal

November 2016

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

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.

Agreement to Operate Puerto Quetzal

September 2016

Compensation of $43 million to the State and a concession for 21 years for APM Terminals are part of the agreement made with the foreign company for it to operate the container terminal.

According to an article on Publinews, Anabella Morfin, Attorney General of the Nation, explained that   "...APM and EPQ pledged to desist with the courts with their efforts to obtain a declaration of voiding due to incompetence, in order to streamline the operation of TCQ. "

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