Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez recently inaugurated the new Pier 6 facility of Puerto Cortes operated by Operadora Portuaria Centroamericana S.A. de C.V. (OPC), a subsidiary of International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI), expected to further strengthen the country’s position as Central America’s premiere logistics hub.
The US$145 million greenfield development, which represents the first phase of OPC’s expansion work in Puertos Cortes, adds another 350 meters of quay to the existing 800 meters and depth of 14 meters.
OPC is now the only port in the Central America-Four (CA-4) region able to receive the largest box ships plying major trade routes in the Atlantic thanks to two of its new super post-Panamax cranes, which also increased the annual operational capacity of the terminal by 50 percent to 1.4 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).
“Pier number 6 positions Puerto Cortés to be the leader of the region and the Caribbean,” President Hernández said at the inauguration. “This is a moment in which we see dreams as something tangible.”
The president stressed further that OPC’s multi-dollar investment reflects the level of confidence of businesses towards the country’s vibrant economy, and is expected to generate more jobs and income for Honduran families: “These works fill us with pride, they bring us progress and generate more employment.”
Enrique K. Razon Jr., ICTSI chairman and president, who headed the ICTSI and OPC officers, underscored the importance of quality port infrastructure towards greater economic growth, and assured ICTSI’s support to contribute towards the growth of the Honduran economy: “The expansion work we see today is a clear demonstration of the support we have been getting to help us effectively and efficiently develop and run the terminal.”
Aside from the completion of this first phase, more large-scale projects are already in the pipeline for the coming years, Mr. Razon said, including the construction and expansion of the container yard, and implementation of advanced port technologies for greater efficiency.
“In all, I am proud to say that the investments have generated employment and development in Honduras and in Central America. We have delivered best industry practices in port management to a country with a vast potential and a dynamic leadership,” Mr. Razon adds.
Mariano Turnes, OPC chief executive officer, said that the commissioning of the new berth “puts Honduras at the forefront of the region.”
“With the start of operations of the new dock, Puerto Cortés will become the container terminal with the greatest capacity in the entire CA-4 region,” he adds.
As of date, OPC has already invested more than US$250 million as part of its 30-year commitment in operating the Specialized Container and Cargo Terminal in Puerto Cortes.
Apart from the new quay cranes and berth, the Company also invested in the most important and modern Logistic Operations Center within a port terminal in Central America in June, adding to the array of world-class facilities and services that OPC offers.
Also present at the inauguration were Honduran First Lady Ana García de Hernández, Cortes Mayor Allan Ramos, other ministers of the Honduran government, Anders Kjeldsen, ICTSI head of the Americas, and officers and staff of OPC.