Puerto Central San Antonio port, located in Chile’s central region of Valparaiso, inaugurated the new dock facility Muelle Costanera, with which the port completes a total throughput capacity of 15 million tons/year. Chile’s Minister of Transport and Telecommunications Paola Tapia, lead the ceremony attended by Transport subsecretary Carlos Melo, Valparaiso region intendant Gabriel Aldoney, Chairman of Puerto Central board of Directors Roberto Zilleruelo, and a long list of local port and maritime transport industry guests.
Minister Tapia commented to MundoMaritimo that this is a great step towards boosting economic growth in the central region and highlighted that “without a doubt, this terminal’s inauguration brings with it an enormous amount of benefits for San Antonio and the country, that is why we are excited as a Government to witness this opening which represents the perseverance for materializing this project that has been in development since 2008.”
Chairman Zilleruelo commented on the minister’s presence and the attendance of local authorities as well as high-end industry executives, thanking them for witnessing the opening of the US$450 million investment that required the involvement and commitment of every worker in Puerto Central in order to see the light. “For many years we worked on design, planning and construction, that is why I feel that this is an excepcional work along woth being the largest private investment in the port world in the past 20 years,” said the executive.
Some US$240 million of the total investment went for infrastructure development for the 700-meter long, 15-meter deep dredging berthing facility. The dock also has 18 hectares of pavement, a breakwater and over 2,200 sockets for reefer containers. Another US$130 million was invested in equipment, such as trucks, cranes and an operating management system, along with payments related to the concession approvals: initial payments, personnel training and operational costs.
“The terminal is currently operating at 30% capacity, so we have many years of challenges ahead, starting with giving the city of San Antonio a new look. This work makes our investors and directors very happy, but also the people of San Antonio are happy as well,” said Zilleruelo. The chairman described Puerto Central as a multiporpuse terminal that moved 4.8 million tons in 2017, surpassing the 2.7 million tons from 2016. A little over 50% of cargo is vehicles, dry bulk and break bulk.
For Zilleruelo, the relationship with the workers was crucial for the development of the project. “We are very happy with the work method we have implemented, because it has allowed us to reach all our workers and union leaders, we value their work and input and they are crucial for achieving future challenges.”
Puerto Central’s Muelle Costanera dock was scheduled for delivery during the first half of 2018, but its impecable construction allowed for early operations. Jose Luis Mardones, chairman of San Antonio port company EPSA, highlighted this achievement: “This is an excellent example of efficiency because it was built within the assigned budget and within a year ahead of schedule.” “Thanks to Puerto Central we can look into the next 4-6 years to provide top quality logistics services for the central region of Chile at convenient prices for local consumers. With this we will accomplish our mission as port authority, which is to collaborate in allowing exporters and importers to benefit from an efficient supply chain.”
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