PSA to run Cuban container terminal
Singaporean port operator PSA International has signed a contract to
manage a container terminal under construction at the Cuban port of
Mariel, sources close to the project said.
The terminal is part of a larger scheme to develop Mariel Bay, 45 km
west of Havana, into the Caribbean country's most important cargo hub
and center of light manufacture, reported Reuters.
PSA International won a bid to manage the terminal last year and had
been in negotiations ever since with Mariel developer Zona de Desarrollo
Integral de Mariel, a subsidiary of the military-owned Almacenes Universal.
The sources said the agreement was to manage the port and did not
involve any investment by the company.
Mariel Bay is one of Cuba's finest along the northern coast and the port
is destined to replace Havana, the country's main port, over the coming
No further details of the deal were available, but the sources said PSA
International would now actively participate in planning the terminal,
which is scheduled to open by 2014 when larger vessels will begin
traversing the Panama Canal, now being expanded.
The Mariel terminal, which will have an initial 700m of berth, is
ideally situated to handle US cargo if the American trade embargo is
eventually lifted, and will receive US food exports already flowing into
the country under a 2000 amendment to sanctions.
Plans through 2022 call for Mariel to house logistics facilities for
offshore oil exploration and development, the container terminal,
general cargo and bulk foods facilities and a Special Economic
Development Zone for light manufacturing and storage, the sources said.
Brazil has pledged US$800 million so far to finance construction of
infrastructure and port facilities already under way in conjunction with
the Odebrecht group, Brazil's largest construction and engineering firm.
Brazilian presidential adviser Marco Aurelio Garcia toured Mariel and
met with Cuban President Raul Castro earlier this year, followed in June
by former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Garcia said $400 million in financing had already been disbursed and
another $200 million of the promised $800 million approved. He said an
additional loan was under consideration.
Mariel Port will handle vessels with up to a 15m draft, compared with
11m at Havana Bay due to a tunnel under the channel leading into the
Cuban capital's port.
The terminal will have an annual capacity of 850,000 to one million
TEUs, compared with Havana's 350,000 containers.
Plans call for shutting down all port operations and an oil refinery at
Havana Bay, which, with its excellent real estate overlooking the water,
is to become a recreation area.
Meanwhile, Saudi Global Ports (SGP), a joint venture firm between
Singapore's PSA International and the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of
the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has been awarded the concession to develop,
operate and manage the second container terminal in the King Abdul Aziz
Port in Dammam, according to Channel NewsAsia.
Dammam is a key gateway port on the Arabian Gulf and is located close to
Saudi Arabia's economic centre and capital city Riyadh.
The SGP terminal will be equipped with the latest equipment and
technology to serve the fast growing economy of the kingdom and the
regional economies of the Arabian peninsula.
PSA's Group CEO Eddie Teh said: "Dammam represents PSA International's
first port infrastructure project in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the
Arabian Gulf. We will work closely with our partner and Saudi Ports
Authority to transform the Saudi Global Ports terminal into the
preferred port of call to support the high trade growth and business
activities in the region."
When the new SGP terminal is fully built up and developed, it will have
a quay length of 1,200m and 12 quay cranes, with a design capacity of
1.8 million TEUs per annum.