Monday , 27 January 2020
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In an effort to become one of Latin America’s leading Pacific ports, Ecuador’s Port of Guayaquil has been gearing up to increase its capacity, modernise its facilities and improve its competitiveness through privatisation. Currently ranked No 11 in the Latin America and Caribbean region, the port is Ecuador’s most important, handling 70% of the country’s total cargo and 93% of its container volumes.

ICTSI wins Guayaquil concession

Guayaquil offers year-round service and is open 24 hours a day. Its facilities include a container terminal with four 600 ft (183 m) berths and nearly 3m sq ft (280,000 sq m) of paved container area.

On March 23, 2007, the presidential website reported that the Guayaquil Port Authority (APG) had awarded the concession for the Guayaquil port to Philippines firm International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI). ICTSI’s financial offer surpassed the board’s expectations and was higher than the one submitted by the Hutchison group to obtain the concession for the country’s Port of Manta.

ICTSI has offered APG US$10.43 per container handled, which is over 73% higher than the US$6.00 set in the bidding rules. At Manta, the concessionaire pays US$5.00 per container. The Philippine company also offered a set payment of US$8m/year and will invest some US$150m in upgrading the port.

“The award comes as a relief to Ecuadorian authorities – not only because the process was repeatedly delayed due to the presidential elections last year, but also because it is a good sign of political and industrial stability, as the process was launched during one administration and brought to fruition in the next,” said APG official Walter Martínez.

“ICTSI is expected to start controlling the port in three to four months, once the necessary paperwork is done,” he added. APG will then be responsible for making sure the port’s development plan is carried out as expected, as it currently does with Andipuerto, the concessionaire for the port’s bulk terminal.

ICTSI, in a strategic alliance with Singapore’s PSA International, was the only entity to submit an offer for the concession last December. A second consortium – consisting of local company Transagent, Chilean companies Inversores Cosmos and Empresas Navieras and German firm HHLA Container Terminal – decided to withdraw from the process, allegedly due to a lack of transparency. According to Martínez, the resulting concession process proved the procedure’s total transparency.