The contract for developing and operating Ecuador’s first deep-water port, a $1.2bn project, has been awarded to Dubai-based DP World.
The deal, signed on Monday, will grant DP World a 50-year concession on the port to be built at Posorja on the delta of the Guayas River.
Posorja sits about 70 miles away from the country’s business centre, Guayaquil.
The port will focus on containers but have the ability to handle other types of cargo. When complete it will have 750,000 teus of container capacity.
In its statement about the deal DP World said its initial $500m investment will include purchase of land, dredging an access channel, building an access road and a 400-metre berth equipped to handle containers and other cargo.
Work on the project should begin in six-to-nine months and take around two years to complete, DOP World says.
The company’s Ecuadorean partners Consorcio Nobis and Grupo Vilaseca will work on the project.
There was no competitive tender as the Ecuadorean government negotiated directly with DP World, which has a portfolio of dozens of marine terminals around the world including several in South American nations such as Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Suriname.
Ecuador, in the northwest of South America, has a Pacific coast. It has four international ports already but none of them are deep-water.