In several years the Caribbean city of Limón will have one of the world’s most modern container ports, but there may be no road to get to it.
According to Spanish-language daily La Nación, the Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT) admitted it does not have financing to complete construction of route 257, the port’s access road. The government’s construction of the road was one of the conditions for the $1 billion port concession with Dutch shipping company APM Terminals.
“[Public Works and Transport Minister Carlos Segnini] has already approached APM about financing the road,” said Vice Minister Giselle Alfaro. “The conditions they offered weren’t favorable and he declined.”
Already 40 percent into the first stage of construction, the container port is expected to be completed no later than January 2018. If MOPT fails to complete the access road on time, the government could be forced to pay millions of dollars in indemnization. The road’s approximate value has not been released to the public due to concerns that the amount may influence bids from contractors.
The ministry hopes to have financing in place by January, but the delays have sparked concern within APM.
“If construction on route 257 does not start by May 2016, it will be very difficult to complete the project by the time the container terminal opens,” Kenneth Waught, manager of APM Terminals told La Nación.