The Supreme Court’s Civil and Administrative Law Branch recently rejected the final pending appeal against a port renovation and expansion project by APM Terminal, a Maersk subsidiary based in the Netherlands. The lawsuit attempted to block the $1 billion project on the country’s Caribbean coast by claiming that APM’s exclusive 33-year concession to operate the container terminal is an illegal monopoly.
“This decision reaffirms the importance of the new container terminal in Moín,” Paul Gallie, general director for APM Terminals in Central America, said in a press release to local news outlets. “We need a competitive and modern port.”
The project aims to update Costa Rica’s ailing port structure, which currently ranks 140th of 144 countries, according to the World Economic Forum. The new terminal will upgrade Costa Rica’s most frequented port to receive modern post-Panamax ships, which can transport up to 12,000 containers at a time.
Since its announcement, the port project has been met with support from the government and business communities and contention from environmentalists and the port workers’ union, Sintrajap. Construction initially was slated to begin in September 2013, but lawsuits and the permitting process have delayed it by more than a year.
With the final lawsuit out of the way, APM Terminals is scheduled to break ground within the next two months. However, the company still is waiting for approval by the Environment Ministry’s National Technical Secretariat of a 3,000-page environmental impact assessment.