Despite opposition by Limón dock workers and environmentalists, the artificial island that will become the $1 billion container handling port in Moín is about 27 percent complete.
The central government gave this estimate Friday after officials toured the job site. APM Terminals, a Dutch firm, is building the facility as a concession. The job involves dredging the existing port inlet and installing breakers and fill for the artificial island.
The central government noted that the firm plans to have two docking locations by January 2018 when the facility goes into service. Eventually there will be 20 hectares of artificial island in the first stage.
The government is obligated to improve the existing gravel
access road and make it into a four-lane paved strip of some 2.5 kilometers. That is a $78 million job, officials said.
Dock workers fought the project legally and have also staged road blockades because they know ship captains will prefer the more efficient APM Terminal for loading and unloading their cargos.
Environmentalists fought the dredging of the port and the depositing of rock to create the artificial island. They also fought the removal of some mangroves to provide the access road.
For a time, APM Terminals was denied the use of a local quarry to obtain rock. The firm had to import the rock from abroad while the matter was litigated.
Government officials see the terminal as a key part of plans to develop Limón.