Container dock project surmounts another legal obstacle

The proposed super container terminal at Moín has passed another legal hurdle, according to the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes.

The ministry reported Tuesday that the Contraloría General de la República rejected an appeal by the union representing workers at the government docks in Limón and Moín.

The $1 billion terminal project also has survived a legal suit brought to the Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo by the Cámara Nacional de Bananeros, which feared higher costs.

The Dutch firm APM Terminals has a contract to build the container docks as a 30-year concession.

The project is backed by the central government and the Junta de Administración Portuaria y de Desarrollo Económico de la Vertiente Atlántica.

The ministry said that the dock workers union did not have sufficient direct interest to challenge the project, said the ministry. Nevertheless, it is widely believed that the new concession will be more modern and more competitive than the current public docks and will capture a lot of business.

That would be fine with public officials because the feisty dockworkers union has staged many slowdowns and declines to work on some national holidays.

APM Terminals has three years to build the first stage of the docks. As container traffic increases, the company is committed to enlarge the facility, which will be one and a half times as big as Parque la Sabana.

The finished port will have room for five container ships at once. Construction is supposed to start in 2013.

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