San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Service road study a minor setback for $1 billion Moín Port project, manager says

Construction for the billion-dollar Moín Port expansion project on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast could be delayed following the postponement of a request for construction of a crucial service road.

Costa Rica’s National Technical Secretariat of the Environment Ministry (SETENA) requested additional environmental studies for the road, which will pass through a protected wetland.

“The description we received is very different then what was originally proposed,” SETENA’s Secretary General Uriel Juárez told The Tico Times. “We need a new document that includes an in-depth environmental impact study.”

The National Roadway Council (CONAVI) is required to build the road, per the concession agreement with the port’s management company, APM Terminals. The road needs to be in place before port construction can begin, which, prior to SETENA’s decision, was set for February.

“Worst case this would affect the timetable, but it’s not a drastic change,” Paul Gallie, APM’s managing director of the project, said. “If we lost a few days that’s not as important as having everything done according to the law. We still expect to start construction early next year.”

While SETENA awaits CONAVI’s paperwork, the organization is approaching the end of the much larger decision regarding the environmental impact report for the mega-port itself. SETENA has finished reviewing the 3,000-page report and will hold a public hearing on Nov. 9 in Limón to explain the project’s environmental impact to the community.

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