Dubai-based global marine terminal operator DP World said it has broken ground on a greenfield multi-purpose port project being built at a cost of $1 billion at Posorja in Ecuador.
The facility, which will boast a 750,000 TEU capacity, is likely to be operation by July 2019.
The ground breaking ceremony was attended by President of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, and DP World Group Chairman and CEO, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem.
The ceremony follows the 50-year concession the company won last year from the Government of Ecuador to build a facility with 750,000 TEU, twenty-foot container equivalent, of capacity to fuel the country’s economic growth and connect it with international markets.
Around $500 million will be invested in the Phase One of the project which involves purchase of land, dredging of a new access channel, a 20-km access road and a 400-m berth equipped to handle containers and other cargo.
The mammoth project will a major boost to the Equadorian employment sector which will create thousands of jobs during the construction stage, close to 1,000 jobs during operations, along with plans to develop a logistics zone to create a regional trading hub.
While work began in July on nearby access roads, construction of the port, which is located 65 km from the country’s main business city of Guayaquil, is expected to take around 24 months for completion.
Additionally, a 1-sq-km logistics and industrial park, marked as a Special Economic Development Zone, will be developed adjacent to the port.
Speaking at the launch, Bin Sulayem said: "This is an important landmark in Ecuador’s growth story, we’re celebrating today the first public-private partnership that will benefit local economy and change forever the way it trades with the world."
"The port has been designed to serve the growing needs of global markets, something we’ve been able to witness first-hand with our 78 terminals around the world, and will dramatically improve the global competitiveness of Ecuadorian exporters," he noted.
DP World Posorja general manager, Jorge Velqsquez pointed out that the Emirati group was always on the lookout for opportunities that help meet the growing demands of the global supply chain.
"This facility will help Ecuador become an important player in regional and global trade and its deep drafts and quay lengths will handle Post-Panamax vessels to complement Guayaquil and other nearby terminals. Its navigation channel is designed for ease of access, allowing large capacity ships to call at our shores," he added