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Local and international investors officially launched the Puerto Bahía consortium which seeks to develop a US$250mn multimodal port initiative in Colombia's Cartagena bay, local press reported.
The consortium is led by private Colombian power utility Promotora de Energía Eléctrica de Cartagena (Proeléctrica).
Project manager Alicia Sáenz said the industrial, administrative and financial structuring is ready and the process to obtain environmental and operational permits with national and regional authorities is already underway, paper El Universal reported.
If all goes as planned, the port should start operations by mid-2012, Sáenz added.
The initiative, located on Barú island, will cover 123ha and consist of building a seaport in Cartagena bay and a fluvial port to one side of the Dique canal.
In its first phase, the maritime facility is expected to handle some 200,000 containers/y, equivalent to 3Mt of cargo.
Sáenz said the port will handle containers and general and bulk cargo, but not coal, and will be able to receive Panamax and post-Panamax ships.
Proeléctrica manager Octavio Arbeláez said they are looking for foreign investors to finance the project, but that for the moment the firm is leading the initiative.
The fluvial port will have a 3ha container patio with the capacity to handle 200,000 containers.
The project also contemplates an industrial complex on 37ha, which hopes to operate as a duty-free zone.