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US$125mn Guatemala highway expected to boost several industries

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, December 01, 2022

The planned US$125mn Escuintla-Quetzal port highway project could benefit a host of industries, according to a study by Guatemalan business association Fundesa.

“We have found that there are very important value chains with a clear focus on sectors like the agroindustry, especially related to sugar and banana. Also, the real estate sector, manufacturing, tourism, and logistics services in these municipalities [could benefit],” Fundesa head Juan Carlos Zapata was quoted as saying by Prensa Libre.

The project will connect the municipalities of Escuintla, Masagua, Iztapa and Puerto San José. 

Escuintla’s real estate, commerce and services sectors are set to benefit, while logistics services and industrial parks could grow in Masagua and Puerto San José, where port services and a freight airport are also expected to be developed. In Iztapa, road infrastructure, real estate, and the fishing sector have the biggest potential. 

Last week, business intelligence group Cabi presented a study showing that the project will generate fiscal benefits worth US$119mn during the first 25 years of operation. Some 455,000 tourists are expected to use the highway during the first six years. International trade of sugar, alcohol, coal, steel, cement, fuel and vehicles will also be facilitated. 

However, a starting date has not been announced. Officials from Convia, the consortium comprising Mexico’s Grupo Marhnos and Guatemala’s Grupo Precon, which will carry out works, only confirmed to BNamericas that construction will start during the next few weeks.

The project involves rehabilitation, maintenance and complementary works and should start operations in 2025.

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