Expansion plans for Mexico’s largest port are set to proceed, following a US$ 117.5 million loan agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The loan, made to International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI), will allow the Contecon Manzanillo SA terminal to increase its handling capacity and cut delivery times for Pacific Coast cargoes.

Currently, the port handles over 60% of Mexico’s Pacific container traffic, but, following expansion, it will be able to receive larger ships and operate more efficiently, as Pacific trade continues to grow.

The total anticipated cost of the port upgrade project is US$ 567 million, with more than 850 operational and managerial workers expected to be employed by 2020.

The International Finance Corporation, Standard Chartered Bank and KfW Ipex Bank are also investing in the port upgrade, while the IDB financing package includes a US$ 25 million from the China Fund for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Jean-Marc Aboussouan, Chief of the IDB´s Infrastructure Division, said: “Deep-water port capacity is in short supply throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and IDB is pleased to support ICTSI’s efforts to add modern port capacity to the Mexican Pacific Coast.

“Contecon Manzanillo has already become a critical gateway terminal, and we look forward to supporting the further expansion and upgrade of the project.”

Gabriel Goldschmidt, IFC Head of Infrastructure for Latin America and the Caribbean, said: “Modern and efficient port infrastructure is essential to Mexico’s growth and development, and we are delighted to support this upgrade of Manzanillo Port in partnership with ICTSI.”

He added: “This investment will speed up export and import times across the Pacific and help Mexico take advantage of increased trade flows as a result of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, also yielding lower costs for shippers, shipping lines and consumers.”

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