Addressing delegates attending the annual TOC Container Supply Chain Americas conference, APM Terminals Moin Managing Director, Captain Paul J. Gallie cited the company’s new Terminal de Contenedores de Moin (TCM) project in Costa Rica as an example of essential Latin American port planning and development.
“The key factor here is that there are no alternative or cheaper solutions to the existing problems in Limón/Moin” Captain Gallie stated. The existing container facilities of Puerto Limón and Moin handled a combined 858,161 TEU in 2010, and can only accommodate smaller vessels.
In its first year full of operations in 2016, the modern, deep-water TCM facility representing overall investment of USD 992 million is expected to handle one million TEUs servicing the larger vessels now entering into the Latin American trade lanes. At completion of the first phase of development in 2016, TCM will provide 1.3 million TEUs of annual container throughout capacity with 600 meters of quay, six berths and 2,800 reefer plugs. At full build-out at the end of the 33-year concession, TCM will have an annual capacity of 2.7 million TEUs with 1,500 meters of quay, nine berths and 6,500 reefer plugs.
Agricultural products accounted for 35.9% of Costa Rica’s $9.4 billion worth of exports in 2010, according to World Trade Organization (WTO) data, with merchandise imports of $13.6 billion of primarily manufactured goods. Costa Rican exports have been projected by IHS Global Insight to increase in value by 75% to $16.7 billion over the next five years. Costa Rica is currently the world’s largest exporter of pineapple, and the 4th-largest exporter of bananas.
As reefer cargoes become increasingly containerized, the need for container terminal access will become an even greater factor in Costa Rican global trade. At present, banana exports account for 34% of Costa Rica’s containerized exports, while pineapple represents 27%. Approximately half of all reefer cargoes move by container currently, with 85-90% containerization forecast by 2035.
Captain Gallie also emphasized that APM Terminals will initiate an aggressive Corporate Social Responsibility strategy in Costa Rica based upon its global experience in sustainable development.
“Our focus as a company will not only be on environmental protection measures, but just as importantly, the introduction of clean energy sources for reducing CO2 emissions at the facility, with extensive recycling processes at all levels within the operation as well as in the community at large” said Gallie.
Environmental sensitivity has been at the forefront of Costa Rican concerns – over the past 25 years the Central American nation bordering both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts has developed a multi-billion dollar national ecotourism industry. Slightly larger than Denmark and smaller than the US State of West Virginia in area, Costa Rica hosts 22 national parks, 12 biological reverses, 112 volcanic sites, and over 5% of the earth’s biodiversity- more than found in either Europe or North America.
“APM Terminals has a tremendous social responsibility as a company in Costa Rica, and every country and community in which we do business” said Gallie, adding “Through job creation, health and safety initiatives, business practices, pro-active environmental policies, and our role in the global logistic chain and economic development we possess great potential to create a positive change in local communities, a responsibility which is taken very seriously. We are very excited about Costa Rica’s future growth in global trade and leadership in environmental sensitivity, and we are proud to be able to be a part of that process”.
Dredging Today Staff, November 25, 2011; Image: APM Terminals