Is there a future for Corozal?
Big names were in the running for Corozal. Credit: Panama Canal Authority
Although APM Terminals, Terminal Link, PSA and Terminal Investment Limited all prequalified to the right to bid for the Panamanian port of Corozal, none finally entered a bid for the concession, which was therefore declared void.
The contract involved the design, construction, development and operation of a container terminal in West Corozal.
Panama Canal Authority, which oversaw the tender process, noted that it originally received interest from seven potential bidders in March 2016, all of whom had been global operators, although three had pursued their initial interest no further.
The lack of offers is said not to have surprised many of those connected to the local maritime sector, who criticised the lack of tax breaks. Other ports established in Panama already benefit from these, noted Rommel Troestsch, president of the Panama Chamber of Commerce.
“All these matters will be looked at soon,” said Roberto Roy, the minister with responsibility for the Canal, when asked whether a second tender would be issued.
The initial request for a new port on Panama’s Pacific coast came from shipping lines that had been forced to wait several days for a slot at the port of Balboa.