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Colombian coal port construction to start by end of year: manager

 

Cartagena, Colombia (Platts)--14Mar2012/343 pm EDT/1943 GMT

 

 

Construction of Colombia's first deep-water river coal port near Barranquilla will begin by year's end, general manager of project operator Sociedad Portuaria de Bocas de Ceniza Rosy del Dago said in an interview.

The Superpuerto project is to be built at the mouth of the Magdalena River and will be used to transfer thermal and metallurgical coal from river barges from central Colombia to Capesize bulk carriers destined for export markets.

Part of the project includes dredging a channel on the river bed to a depth of 64 feet to allow the loading of Capesize carriers.

According to del Dago, the port project is to have an initial investment of around $240 million and is expected to have an intial throughput of 5 million mt/year, which is to be expanded to 22 million mt/year five years later.

The project is to be built in three phases, the first being the coal port, the second a liquid bulk port handling crude oil and the third a container yard.

The first phase of the project includes a barge unloading terminal and a stockpile stacker with a peak unloading rate of 5,000 mt/hour of coal and a coal storage yard with minimum capacity of 800,000 mt.

"The first phase will take two years to build. We aim to start construction at the end of the year and we hope to be ready by the end of 2014. The idea is to start accelerating the new stages of the project once the first phase is done," del Dago said.

"Everything depends on when the major shareholders take control of the society. We still have to close the deal but we are now finalizing the final details, which should be ready by the end of May," she added.

Market sources said that, besides a Mississippi River port operator and several American investors, the project shareholders will include a European commodities trader and an Asian coal end-user.

Colombia, the world's fourth-largest thermal coal exporter, has most of its deep-water coal ports on the Atlantic Coast of Colombia.

These include the Carbones del Cerrejon-owned Puerto Bolivar in the northernmost La Guajira region, and Glencore's Puerto Prodeco close to the city of Santa Marta.

--Jaime Concha, jaime_concha@platts.com

 

http://www.platts.com/RSSFeedDetailedNews/RSSFeed/Coal/6056005



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