The General Ports Administration (AGP) of Argentina has issued a new four-year tender for Terminal 5 in the Port of Buenos Aires, with a one-year extension period available.
The terminal has been run by Buenos Aires Container Terminal Services SA (BACTSSA), a member of Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH), on a temporary extension of a concession, which ran out in 2012.
The winner of the new tender will have to commit to a US$13m investment in civil works and equipment, plus maintenance of the existing workforce.
An industry source told CM that HPH, APM Terminals and International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) are expected to bid.
Demands over operational capacity are significantly less strenuous than in previous tenders, he added, with bidders required to be the operator of at least one terminal where annual throughput is no less than 250,000 teu.
The response deadline is 22 September and offers will be opened at 11am on the day.
If HPH fails to win the concession, it will have to indemnify their staff; in this case, the winner would be required to incorporate current personnel as its own staff respecting their rank, seniority and remuneration, and the estimated amount of severance would be around US$40m.
The bidders are required to provide background and a business plan, as well as a financial offer featuring a guaranteed amount on “freight fees” (tasa a las cargas) with the minimum amount being US$11.7m.
The source told CM that the pre-award will take place within three days of meeting the required financial offer.
The concessionaire Port Annual Fee is established at US$2.6m, the source added. Regarding tariffs, there will be a 30% increase in import services in contrast to the lack of changes in export services.
Shareholders will not be able to transfer shares during the first 18 months and they will require the approval of the AGP to do so after that, the industry source said.
The renewal of the lease for Hutchinson’s T5 (BACTSSA) terminal has been controversial, since concessions in Argentina are not renewed automatically and must be put out to tender again.
The Port of Buenos Aires ranked 92nd in CM’s World Top Container Ports 2015, having handled 1.4m teu in 2014, falling by 15% compared to its throughput in 2013.