October 2, 2023

‘Puerto Antioquia’ Ocean-Freight Project Gets US$110 Million Term Loan

The long-awaited development of the “Puerto Antioquia” ocean-freight port near Turbo, Antioquia, just got a US$110 million term-loan investment from New York-based Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP).

According to the GIP announcement – which project developer Andres Felipe Bustos of Medellin-based Puertos Inversiones y Obras (PioSAS) confirmed to Medellin Herald as factually accurate – “Puerto Antioquia” development is led by a consortium consisting of France-based CMA Terminal Holdings S.A.S, shipping line Eiffage S.A, a “top-tier construction company,” and a “private consortium of banana producers and exporters,” along with PioSAS.

“The GIP holding company investment — together with senior debt provided by a group of multilateral banks and equity capital from the [project] sponsors — will be utilized to fund construction of an approximately US$725 million port facilities project,” according to GIP.

“The project is underpinned by long-term volume commitments with the consortium and will be strategically located as Colombia’s closest port to the Atlantic Coast. It is geographically positioned to capture a large share of dry-containers traffic originated from important economic regions of Colombia, including Medellin, Bogota, the coffee axis and other hinterland regions,” GIP added..

“Puerto Antioquia is a landmark project for Colombia and is expected to change the dynamics of trade in the country given its strategic location,” according to Jennifer Powers, GIP partner and Chair of GIP Credit. “It is expected to capture immediate cargo and create a significant positive impact in the Uraba region [of Antioquia]. The port will provide significant socio-economic impact to the region, as evidenced by multilateral financing support from its senior lender, one of the most important banks in Latin America.”

CMA Terminal chief Laurent Martens added: “We are very happy with this continuing partnership with GIP. They have been a resourceful and proactive partner throughout development. We very much appreciate GIP’s unabated support in spite of current market conditions to close the financing of this ambitious project.”

Financing Follows 30-Year Concession Deal

Colombia Vice President Marta Lucia Ramírez announced last year (March 20, 2019) that the new port would link to the under-construction “Mar 1” and “Mar 2” highways connecting Medellin westward to new and existing freight ports on the Caribbean.

Project developers foresee the mobilization of up-to-6.6-million tons of cargo per year, Vice President Ramírez said. Once completed, Puerto Antioquia “will become the closest Colombian Caribbean terminal to Cundinamarca and the coffee region,” she added.

At the time, Colombia’s Transport Ministry had estimated that construction costs on the project would total around US$300 million, covering dock works with five ship-berthing positions, plus a double-lane carriageway viaduct for the transit of tractor-trailers between the berthing platform and land-side terminal facilities.

“The port terminal will be designed to serve container ships of up to 366 meters in length and 14,000 TEUs [standard 20-feet-long shipping containers],” according to the press bulletin accompanying Vice President Ramírez’s remarks.

“The port, which [would be] located in the sector known as Bahía Colombia, near the township of Nueva Colonia and on the banks of the León River, will be connected to the Autopista Mar 1 and Autopista Mar 2 highway projects, and will specialize in general cargo, vehicles and containerized products such as cereals, plantains and bananas, among others,” according to the bulletin.

Civil works for the project would be carried out by a consortium made up of Eiffage Infraestructuras of France and Termotécnica Coindustrial of Colombia, according to that bulletin.

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