Costa Rican port faces operational collapse

The Costa Rican Pacific ports institute, Instituto Costarricense de Puertos del Pacifico (INCOP), has claimed that the Port of Caldera has effectively reached a point of collapse, with few options open to it under the existing operations contract.

INCOP’s executive president, Juan Ramón Rivera, said that negotiations are underway, as are technical, legal and financial studies aimed at implementing improvements.

Since 2006, the port has been operated by Caldera Port Company as part of a 20-year concession. With seven years still to go, a longer-term extension is under review, as are the terms and conditions of the concession, which only allows the concessionaire to provide handling services, but not make improvements.

It is estimated that the port needs around $150m for immediate civil works, with a further $100m within five to six years. However, existing limitations mean that the current concession can only run for a maximum of 30 years, which would be insufficient for the concessionaire to guarantee a return on its investment.

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