Grup TCB, a global reference in maritime freight management, has laid the cornerstone of a yard extension to Puerto Quetzal on the Pacific coast in the Guatemalan department of Escuintla. The first phase of the improvements will be complete by the end of 2015, when the company will start operating Puerto Quetzal Container Terminal (TCQ), TCB said.
TCQ will operate the new port terminal,110 kilometres south of Guatamala City, under a lease arrangement for 25 years. The port will be equipped to accept the new post-Panamax class of mega cargo ships that will begin passing through the expanded Panama Canal.
In phase one, Grup TCB will invest €133 million to build a terminal with the capacity to move 400,000 TEUs per annum. It will have a yard area of 13 hectares and 350 metres of pier.
The second phase will involve a yard extension of up to 20 hectares and 540 metres of pier with capacity for 700,000 containers per annum. The total investment will be €192 million.
Otto Pérez Molina, president of Guatemala, officiated the start of the work, saying that the extension project is a step towards the development of this Central American country, foreign investment and improved productivity of the port infrastructure. The construction project will create 600 jobs.
The improvement to the installations in Puerto Quetzal makes this a strategic location for international trade on the US west coast and large Asian markets. TCQ will be the only terminal in the Pacific, between the Panama Canal and the state of Michoacán in Mexico, equipped to provide services to post-Panamax class cargo ships.