A key government minister defended the concession plan for the port of Moín Tuesday before some unconvinced lawmakers and said the project would bring 8,500 jobs to the poverty stricken province.
The minister, Francisco Jiménez of Obras Públicas y Transportes, also said that the concession project would generate $982 million for development and also $2.3 billion in taxes.
Some 8,000 of the jobs he mentioned would be indirect, being generated by the 500 workers on the docks, the ministry said.
The Dutch firm APM Terminals has won a concession to invest nearly $1 billion to build a modern port. The project is in jeopardy because of opposition from current dockworkers at the inefficient public docks and from some lawmakers who philosophically oppose concessions.
The government will takeover the new docks at the end of the 30-year concession. APM runs docks all over the world. Jiménez said that the government plans to convert the public docks in Limón to handle just cruise ships and their passengers.