Ecuador's Manta port authority APM is looking for a strategic partner for a US$36mn project to add value and improve services, the entity's general manager, Guillermo Moran, told BNamericas.
The project involves improving logistics services to increase competitiveness and reduce waiting and cargo handling times, according to the executive.
The improvements are part of a US$70mn development plan to be carried out at over the next four years at the port, which is the largest in Ecuador.
The national government will spend US$44mn on infrastructure improvements at the port, including dredging the bay, improving docks and remodeling administrative facilities, Moran said.
The investment plan has been established by the government as a national priority, aiming to allow the port to cope with increasing demand over the next 30 years.
Manta port was concessioned in 2006 to Terminales Internacionales de Ecuador (TIDE), controlled by Hong Kong-based Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH), for a 30-year period.
In February 2009, TIDE withdrew from the concession, accusing authorities of making unilateral changes to the contract, BNamericas reported at the time. Negotiations regarding the termination of the contract are still ongoing.