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Chilean operator Saam Puertos, Spanish operator Grup Maritim TCB, French operator Bolloré Ports and Logistics and Filipino operator International Container Terminal Services have all been pre-qualified for the tender.
CEPA plans to invite bids for the 30-year concession to operate the port's multi-use container terminal in February next year, with offers to be submitted by April.
The tender will be awarded in May and after signature of the contract and approval of the concession by the country's legislative assembly, CEPA expects to hand over operation of the terminal in August.
While the terminal is already built, the winning bidder will be required to invest US$30mn in the terminal over the first 10 years.
Once it is fully operational, the terminal will have the capacity to handle 1mn TEUs each year.
BNamericas will be organizing its LatAm Ports & Logistics Summit in Panama City: www.latamportssummit.com