Sucre state port planned for mining exports

Friday, November 19, 2004

Bauxite and iron ore miners will be the key beneficiaries of a new deepwater port Venezuela's government is seeking to develop in Sucre state's Araya peninsula, an infrastructure ministry (Minfra) spokesperson told BNamericas.

The port would be a node for the north-south railroad that transports minerals to the coast from the country's south and Guayana region for export. Consulting firm Incostas signed a contract earlier this week with Minfra to perform a feasibility study to determine the best location for deepwater port development on Araya.

"Sucre is the part of the country nearest the Atlantic and where the marine platform is deepest. Incostas will determine where it is feasible to build the port," the spokesperson said.

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If the port is feasible, the national institute for aquatic spaces (INEA) would lead development. In the longer term, the port could handle Brazilian exports generated from an extension of the north-south railroad that would link Puerto Ordaz with Sucre. "In the long term, the railroad will be bi-national," the spokesperson said.

Port and railroad development are part of the government's 2001-2007 social and economic development plan.

Incostas will take five months to complete the 1.15bn-bolívar (US$600,000) study that will be financed by Andean Development Corporation (CAF).