Honduras to Modernize, Expand Puerto Cortes with $135 Million IDB Financing

Honduras will expand and modernize Central America’s biggest port with $135 million of loans from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Puerto Cortés is the main port of Honduras, handling almost 90% of maritime traffic. Located on the northeast coast of the country, on the Caribbean Sea, it is the biggest and deepest port in Central America handling a large portion of the region’s containerized exports. It is the main point of entry for imports of grains and fertilizers, among other goods essential to the Honduran economy.

The IDB will help finance the dredging of the port basin and slips; and works to reclaim land from sea by depositing the material dredged from the harbor. The new space reclaimed from the sea will accommodate a new container terminal, and serve as a future expansion area, and an area for the future organic bulk terminal.

The project will support the construction of the container terminal on the reclaimed land as well as the acquisition of specialized equipment and the provision of in-port storage yards, improving port operations and preventing interference with urban transit. The project will also support training and technical assistance for the Honduran Port Authority to strengthen its management and supervision of port activities.

Construction works financed by the project will reduce operating costs and delays in vessel and cargo handling, and enable the development of logistics operations typical of specialized container terminals.

This is the second IDB project approved for Puerto Cortés this week. The Bank also approved loans totaling $10 million to improve control, security and customs services at the port.

The $135 million IDB loan is comprised of a $94 million 30-year fixed-rate loan with a six-year grace period; and a $40.5 million loan from the Bank’s Fund for Special Operations, with maturity and grace period of 40 years, and a 0.25% percent interest rate. Both loans, which will finance about 60 percent of the cost of the project, will be disbursed in four years.


Source: iadb, December 3, 2010