ICTSI opens joint-venture terminal in Colombia

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LISTED ports operator International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) said on Tuesday that it and its partner PSA International (PSA) have formally opened Puerto Aguadulce, a joint-venture terminal in the Port of Buenaventura in Colombia.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos led the inauguration rites of the facility, which is operated by their joint venture firm Sociedad Puerto Industrial de Aguadulce.

The first phase of the $500-million multi-user container and bulk handling facility can handle mega container vessels with capacities of up to 18,000 twenty foot units (TEUs).

“It is very important to have dreams and is more satisfying when they become reality. This is what we are doing today to inaugurate this port,” ICTSI quoted President Santos as saying.

“We have always been bullish on Colombia and believe that its economy is a key driver in pushing the Latin American market into the future… We at ICTSI want to be a partner in the country’s economic journey by offering top-notch port equipment, facilities and technology to facilitate this growing economy,” said Martin O’Neil, ICTSI executive vice president.

Puerto Aguadulce CEO Miguel Abisambra said: “The terminal is ideally positioned to be a hub for international trade. It was built and designed to meet the current and future requirements of customers and partners.”

ICTSI and PSA signed a deal in September 2013 to jointly develop, construct and operate the Colombian terminal and its ancillary facilities. The terminal had its soft opening late in November last year, servicing its first container vessel, the MSC Sasha.

Puerto Aguadulce features state-of-the-art cargo handling equipment, operating systems and facilities and infrastructure. Under its first phase development, the terminal has an annual handling capacity of 550,000 TEUs with operating two container berths. The bulk terminal will have a capacity of 2 million tons per year.

The terminal is strategically located in the Port of Buenaventura, Colombia’s sole maritime trading gateway to the Pacific, and the first port of call for southbound services to and from the West Coast of South America.

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