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San Antonio chosen for new large-scale port in Chile

  • The initiative would cost over US$3,300 million and is expected to be able to handle eight containerships with a length of up to 400 meters, moving some 6 million TEUs, equivalent to three times the port’s current capacity.

President Michelle Bachelet announced that Chile’s future large-scale or mega port will be built in San Antonio. The other area competing for this major infrastructure project was Valparaíso.

According to the El Mercurio newspaper, Empresa Portuaria de San Antonio (EPSA) has been working for some time on the initiative, which is estimated to have a cost of over US$3,300 million. The project is expected to be able to handle eight containerships with a length of up to 400 meters in concessioned terminals, moving some 6 million TEUs, equivalent to three times the port’s current capacity.

“I promised the country I would define the location of a future large-scale port for central Chile and today I want to announce that the decision has been taken: it will be here in San Antonio,” said President Bachelet.

She added that “this is a project of the state that will require a long process to build infrastructure which will have an enormous impact and benefits for future generations.”

“All the information was studied by a Committee of Ministers where the initial idea of just a port was expanded to a concept of a large-scale logistics network. We are talking about a port that will operate in coordination with other ports so that each one can fulfill its role as regards freight, passengers, and cruises, directly benefitting the five regions that make up the central macrozone,” explained President Bachelet.

The announcement has reactivated the Railway-Port Logistics Platform project of the State Railway Company (EFE). This project seeks to optimize connectivity between Santiago and the ports of the Valparaíso Region principally in order to increase freight transport although it would also include passengers.

The chairman of EFE, Germán Correa, indicated that the project will be implemented through concessions under the Railways Law. He reported that it has been approved by the committee of ministers as regards logistics and by the System of Public Companies (SEP). Its timetable envisages implementation between 2018 and 2030 as demand for freight transport increases.

San Antonio, which has some 90,000 inhabitants, is in the Valparaíso Region, approximately 100 kilometers from the capital, Santiago. The city’s economic activity centers around the port, which is located on a natural bay and began operation in the early twentieth century.

Sources: Emol, Pulso, Diario Financiero.