NOVA MEDIA PUBLISHING INC.

Private Ports in Guayaquil Drive More Investments for Dredging

19.7.2019

TPG, of the Chilean group SAAM, has become the second player in the port system of the city after Contecon.

Last year, this terminal moved 6,853,577.63 tons of cargo, something that brought it closer to Contecon, which moved 8,517,310 tons, according to figures from the Under secretariat of Ports.

In the area of the Santa Ana estuary, TPG has deployed cranes and docks that allow it to simultaneously receive vessels of up to 305.9 meters in length and a capacity of between 4,000 and 6,000 Teus (20-foot container unit).

SAAM Puertos has other investments underway to adapt to the new scenario of having a deeper access channel following dredging, which will also benefit private terminals.

At the moment they are investing US$ 10.75 million to extend a pier by 180 meters, which will be delivered in stages. The first will be in October and the work will be completed by the first quarter of 2020.

Luis Enrique Navas, manager of TPG, says that once the extension of the dock has been completed, they will be able to receive ships of up to 340 meters in length, in accordance with current regulations, whose capacity is up to 11,000 Teus.

In addition to the extension of the dock, Gantry Super Post Panamax cranes, RTG cranes for handling containers in the yards, as well as reachstacker container cranes are being added.

According to the Association of Private Port Terminals of Ecuador, a union that brings together the main private facilities, investments of US$ 71,228,832 are being made in four ports this year. That amount is added to investments in progress of US$ 20,955.723 in 2018.

Bananapuerto is one of the companies which has invested resources, growing a terminal, next to TPG  which has been moving more cargo each year, last year 272 vessels arrived at its facilities.

Now two gantry cranes are being assembled on its extended dock on the Santa Ana estuary to better attend the arriving vessels.

Sergio Murillo, manager of Naportec (Bananapuerto), points out that the executed investment plan for 2018 and 2019 has been about US$ 20 million and for the next five years they plan to invest a further US$ 20 million. Due to the greater dredging, the Bananapuerto docks, according to the executive, already have the necessary draft for the new depths of Guayaquil. "We have invested in new crane equipment and increased our storage capacity for refrigerated containers," says Murillo.

In 2017, Fertisa invested US$ 63 million, while QC Terminales and Ecuagrán have also invested a combined total of US$ 65.10 million in the last 3 years.

The Association of Private Port Terminals of Ecuador (Asotep), which groups the main facilities of this sector, indicates that its members obtained their permits and authorizations from the highest regulatory and control bodies of the Ecuadorian State and in accordance with the legal framework and regulations in force at the date of its constitution.

The guild refutes Contecon’s argument which associates the loss of cargo it has suffered, to the alleged advantages of private terminals, which have gained market share.

Asotep points out that in the concession contract signed by Contecon with the Port Authority of Guayaquil (APG) it is committed to respect the current and future competition of the private ports already established in Ecuador.

The private terminals say that they only received an authorization from the State, and at their own risk they invested in infrastructure from scratch and started generating business.

"The State did not deliver any assets or businesses to any of the private ports, which it did when they delivered the terminal to Contecon with an ongoing business that generated income from day 1 of the concession," says the association.

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