The first phase of the new Deepwater Port of Posorja in Ecuador, worth $538 million, is now complete and successfully operational by Dubai Ports (DP) World, it announced on Monday.
The overall $1.2 billion project will replicate Dubai’s Jebel Ali Port and free zone, making Ecuador a trade and logistics hub for South America’s west coast and opening a gateway for large container ships with capacities exceeding 10,000 TEUs.
The port has already been operational for two months, handling thousands of containers and more than a dozen post-panamax ships.
Posorja is expected to welcome an annual volume of 750,000 TEUs during the first phase and 1.5 million TEUs at full port capacity.
The Port is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, world-class infrastructure, and the largest gantry cranes in South America.
Group Chairman and CEO of DP World Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem visited the facility to assess progress of the project, which is one of the largest international investments in Ecuador.
“The beginning of operations at Posorja is a defining moment in Ecuador’s economic growth,” Sulayem said.
“The new Port and Special Economic Zone will significantly improve Ecuador’s global competitiveness and position the country as a dynamic business hub for the west coast of South America, following the model that has been tried and tested in Dubai and around the world.”
“From the very beginning of this project, we have forged a close relationship with our partners from the public and private sectors,” he added.
“The last two months of operations have shown the importance and capability of the Port to importers and exporters, shipping lines and local authorities as we work hand-in-hand with our partners to enable trade and develop innovative logistics solutions,” Sulayem explained.
Phase two of DP World’s project in Ecuador will be the development of “Posorja ZEDE,” a special economic zone (SEZ) for maritime, logistics and light industrial businesses.
The free zone will be modeled on Dubai’s Jebel Ali Port and free zone in the United Arab Emirates, which is home to more than 7,500 companies, which together are responsible for around 35 percent of Dubai’s gross domestic product (GDP) and employ more than 135,000 people.
The Jebel Ali model has already been successfully replicated around the world including London Gateway in the UK and the greenfield terminal in Caucedo, Dominican Republic.