San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica court rules in favor of Dutch company in battle for Moín port

Dutch Company APM Terminals won its first legal battle Monday to construct and manage a shipping terminal in the Caribbean port of Moín.

The Costa Rica government and APM Terminal had signed a $1 billion contract on Aug. 30 for the construction of the terminal in Moín, the single largest concession contract ever signed in Costa Rica.

But union dock workers in the area, through which 80 percent of trade passes, challenged the contract in court.

On Monday, the Administrative Contention Court rejected the appeal by the trade unions, who fear the privatization of the industry.

“We are pleased that we have overcome one more obstacle and we’re confident that we can also overcome any obstacles in the Comptroller General’s Office where the project is to be ratified,” Costa Rica President Laura Chinchilla said.

According to the Costa Rica government, the construction and subsequent operation of the port terminal would create 2,000 direct jobs and another 8,000 indirect jobs in the province of Limón, a poverty stricken region of the country.

The Public Works and Transport Ministry says that the first part of the project should be finished in 2016. It would have a breakwater of almost 2.5 kilometers, 13 cranes and six docking berths large enough to serve Post-Panamax ships, which are capable of carrying between 5,000 to 12,000 shipping containers.

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