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Govt to create multilateral entity to speed up La Paloma port project (Uruguay)
The Uruguayan government aims to create a multilateral entity to speed up the construction of a deepwater port in Rocha department's La Paloma district, the head of the public works and transport ministry's (MTOP) hydrology division, Jorge Camaño, told BNamericas.


Uruguayan authorities have contacted neighboring countries such as Brazil and Paraguay to analyze which of their productive sectors could benefit most from the project, which will require an estimated US$1bn investment.


Uruguay aims to determine cargo demand before creating a regional entity to build the port with support from the state, as well as private sector participation, Camaño said.


The regional authority would facilitate the approval of financing from entities such as South American infrastructure integration initiative IIRSA and the Mercosur structural convergence fund (Focem), according to the official.


To optimize the port's capacity, the project will include building some 15km of highway and repairing and upgrading the country's eastern railway, which is owned by state-owned rail firm AFE and is currently inoperative.


The La Paloma deepwater port project was initially submitted by Spanish firm Benel in 2007 and is currently under evaluation by the Uruguayan government.

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