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China Merchants Holdings (CHM), Chilean port operator Ultramar, Spain's Grupo TCB and others have expressed interest in participating in the concession of Ecuador's Manta port, according to state port authority APM manager Guillermo Morán.
"We've had expressions of interest. We've had conversations with some operators," Morán told BNamericas, adding that Chilean port operators SAAM and Agunsa have also expressed interest in the concession.
APM expects to upload the rules to Ecuador's e-procurement portal by the end of January, and award the concession three months later.
"We expect that once the rules have been approved and uploaded, it'll be awarded in three months. Obviously these are estimates, because we don't know if potential interested companies will require additional time to present their proposals," said Morán.
Regarding the terms of the concession, even though the tender rule details are still being worked out, APM expects it to be for 20 years, with the possibility of extending it for an additional 10 years if certain goals are achieved by year 20, the executive said.
Total investment for the concession, which includes additional equipment and infrastructure, will reach some US$280mn.
In addition to strengthening Ecuador's foreign trade platform, the project aims to transform the port into a logistics hub for the Manta-Manaus logistics corridor, Morán said, noting that the goal for Manta is to increase capacity to 550,000-700,000t/y within 20 years.