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Moin - TCM breaks ground

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TCM breaks ground

Costa Rica’s environmental protection agency (SETENA) approved APM Terminals’ “Environmental and Social Impact Assessment” (EsIA), an initial 18-month study by dozens of foreign engineers and professionals producing over 2000 pages of documentation, and a few days later the National Concession Commission issued the “Construction Start Order” clearing the way for the new Container Terminal of Moin. The construction started on January 19th, 2015, operation inauguration is scheduled for early 2018.

In 2011 APM Terminals won the public bid and signed a 33-year concession contract with the Costa Rican government to finance, design, construct, operate and maintain the TCM, which is part of the Caribbean port authority JAPDEVA’s master plan to modernize the Limon /Moin port complex.

The EsIA was a major project milestone accomplishment in that the TCM was locally classified as the largest single private infrastructure investment to date, thus APM Terminals not only had to conduct an exhaustive and credible study but also win an 86% (and growing) public approval underscoring the benefits of boosting the country’s international competitiveness, providing international investor confidence, and stimulating broad socio-economic development in the Caribbean region of the country.

First phase

Operations of the first phase, scheduled to begin early 2018, calls for the access channel and turning basin to be dredged to 16.0 meters, construction of a 1.5 km breakwater with a 40 hectare container yard, 650 meters of quay and two berths equipped with six post panamax cranes.

On completion of the final phase, TCM will have an area of 80 hectares with 1,500 meters of quay, five berths, a 2.2 km breakwater and an access channel with a depth of 18.0 meters.

TCM will be a world class gateway terminal efficiently servicing fully cellular vessels of up to the new Panamax with 13,500 TEUs. As it is, Costa Rica is currently the world’s largest exporter of pineapples and the fourth-largest exporter of bananas. Sugar and coffee are also key export products, while high technology is a trade component of growing importance.

Standards

The TCM project represents an overall investment of around US$ $1 billion.

Captain Paul J. Gallie, managing director of APM Terminals Costa Rica, said: “APM Terminals is well aware of Costa Rica´s dedication to environmental protection; and, consistent with our own corporate sustainability standards, we have complied with or exceeded all environmental requirements, mindful of the local community in Limon and the people of Costa Rica.”

The ESIA was completed by Centro Científico Tropical (CCT), a pioneer nature conservation group with a track record of over 50 years of study, research and conservation of natural resources in Costa Rica and throughout Latin America.

The Environmental License was issued in December and is valid for the life of the project. The Construction Start Order – issued at the same time by the National Concession Council – states that construction must commence within 30 days of 19 January 2015. The first steps in the construction phase will be the new breakwater. This will be followed by the dredging work.

The Puerto Limón/Moín port complex is already the largest in Costa Rica, handling 1.05 million teu. The current facilities in Puerto Limón are limited to vessels of up to 2,500 teu capacity. The new deepwater TCM will increase the port’s annual throughput capacity by 1.3 million teu at opening, with a potential to achieve 2.7 million teu. APM Terminals Moin is designed for fully cellular containerships under JAPDEVA’s master plan. Containers carried on conventional ships will continue to be handled at JAPDEVA’s existing Moin facility.


Investing in the future

Costa Rica´s extraordinary success in the past 25 years has gained it worldwide recognition as a must–visit vacation spot and an economic wonder with a consistent three to six per cent GDP annual growth, even during the global 2008-2009 downturn, writes Rogelio Douglas, TCM’s manager, communications and PR.

While the country has successfully attracted over 300 foreign business operations during this period, the infrastructure has not kept up to par with the economic growth. There lies a pool of attractive near-term to medium–term PPP and DPI opportunities in relation to modernizing the nation’s rail, road and port infrastructure.

APM Terminals has committed US$ 1.3 billion plus of investment in financing, design, construction, operation and maintenance of the Moin Container Port. Complemented by planned modernization of a cruise terminal with a marina, two four-lane highways connecting the industrial central valley and northern farmlands to the ports and a new international airport, the Caribbean Coast is positioning itself as a modern multimodal logistics hub for the country.

In August 2014 the recently elected government of Luis Guillermo Solis, together with a dozen corporations, sponsored an international investor conference on the coast. Fifty or so executives were expected to attend, but in fact the event drew some 200 participants from Panama, Honduras, Mexico and the USA. These potential investors were interested in hotels and ecotourism, industrial and free zone parks, commercial office space and shopping centers as well as residential housing.

The government has a 2015 goal of 60,000 new jobs and a four per cent GDP growth. And the Caribbean Coast logistics hub region is poised to contribute the lion’s share of that growth.