Although the move has taken everyone by surprise since it has not followed the normal procedure of open discussion, agreement has been reached with a newly formed venture between Ricardo Roman, the brother of Alfred Roman and former owner of Exolgan, Dock Sud and Manila-based International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI).
The concession is allegedly for a terminal to be constructed on a greenfield site and which will comprise 800m of quayline with 40 ha of back up land. Details are sparse at the moment but what is known is that significant dredging will be required in order to provide a deep enough access channel and the required berth depths.
More than US$300m investment will be required “to get phase one of the terminal up and running” in three years with a throughput capacity of around 100,000 teu. When all phases are completed in around 10 years depending on market demand, it is said that throughput capacity will be in the order of 800,000 teu.
In addition, it appears that another agreement “is cooking” and which will result in the granting of a (smaller) concession to a joint venture between Wilson, Sons of Brazil and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC).
The move is certain to shake up the international investors in Puerto Nuevo and Dock Sud and if matters develop in “the usual” Argentine way, lawyers are no doubt being briefed with a view to pursuing legal action on the grounds of unfair competition, failure to adhere to bidding norms and breaking the terms of existing contracts to name but a few.