The first phase of the US$550 million multi-user container and bulk handling facility can handle mega container vessels with capacities of up to 18,000 TEU, and is seen to further spur the Colombian economy. Puerto Aguadulce is operated by Sociedad Puerto Industrial de Aguadulce, the joint-venture company of ICTSI and PSA.
"It is very important to have dreams and is more satisfying when they become reality. This is what we are doing today to inaugurate this port," said Juan Manuel Santos, President of the Republic of Colombia, who led the inaugural rites.
"We are stimulating foreign trade with many countries to exploit the full potential we have. We have the vision to have a competitive country, to be a food pantry for the world and this port will be a very important link. All that awaits you is more business, more profit, because if you do well, the country is doing well," the President added.
Martin O'Neil, ICTSI executive vice president, commented: "We have always been bullish on Colombia and believe that its economy is a key driver in pushing the Latin American market into the future. This new terminal is also a positive proof of the successful collaboration between foreign port partners and local stakeholders."
"The opening of Puerto Aguadulce marks an important milestone not only in Buenaventura but in the entire Colombia. The terminal is ideally positioned to be a hub for international trade. It was built and designed to meet the current and future requirements of customers and partners, with whom we are going to work with to offer high levels of services and productivity," said Miguel Abisambra, Puerto Aguadulce CEO.
ICTSI and PSA signed the agreement to jointly develop, construct and operate the terminal and its ancillary facilities back in September 2013.
The terminal had its soft opening late in November last year, servicing its first container vessel - the MSC Sasha with outstanding productivity levels.
Under its first phase development, the terminal has an annual handling capacity of 550,000 TEU operating two container berths. The bulk terminal, on the other hand, will have a capacity of two million tonnes annually.