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Panama Canal calls pre-qualification for Corozal port

Panama Canal calls pre-qualification for Corozal port
Panama Canal Authority have posted a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the construction of a 5.3m teu container terminal at Corozal, on the eastern bank of the Canal Pacific entrance.

The terminal is to be developed two phases: the first one with a 3.2m teu capacity and 1,350 m of quay and 66 ha of yard and the second with a 2.1m teu capacity with additional 56 ha yard.

The RFQ was posted on the Panama Canal website and documents will be need to be received by 30 December 2015 before 3pm. The review of the documents will take two weeks.

“The qualification process begins now with the request for qualifications. Then, once the documents are received, we will proceed to evaluate each and every one of them according to the requirements set forth in the RFQ,” Panama Canal Authority administrator Jorge Quijano told Seatrade Maritime News.

“We expect to have that done in January while we go to the [Panama National] Assembly for the law [to give the port operator the identical tax incentives that those of other terminals in Panama] and complete the environmental impact study. Once those two processes are concluded, we will follow with the approval of the tender document by the [ACP] board of directors. Once they approve it, the tender will be published,” explained Quijano.

In a statement issued early November, the ACP said that at the time, 11 of the largest international port operators in the world have formally expressed their interest in participating in a public tender for the concession of the Port of Corozal.

Amongst those were: SA Terminal Investment Limited (TIL) (Netherlands)--Eurogate GmbH & Co. (Germany)-Carrix, Inc. and Affiliates (USA)--Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. (Korea)--APM Terminals (Netherlands)--Ports America (USA)--CMA-CGM (France) Evergreen (Taiwan)-China Shipping Ports Development Co., LTD & China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (ROC)-Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (Germany) and Hutchison Whampoa (Hong Kong).

The future construction of the new container terminal has generated controversy in Panama. The Corozal terminal would be located next to the 5m teu Balboa port, administrated by Panama Ports Company, a subsidiary of Hutchison Whampoa which had requested to lease the area for expansion and construction of a logistics park. In addition, on the western bank of the Canal Pacific entrance is the PSA-Panama terminal which has begun its expansion to increase capacity to 2m teu, bringing total capacity on the Canal Pacific entrance to 7m teu.

Panamanian ports moved in 2014 a total of 6.7m teu. Most of the terminals have or are expanding their facilities ahead of the inauguration of the Canal third set of locks, mid-2016 bring total capacity to 14m teu.