APM Terminals enters Colombia with $200m container port investment

APM Terminals and Colombian-based port and terminal operating company, Compañia de Puertos Asociados S.A. (Compas S.A.), have signed a joint venture agreement to jointly manage and operate Compas S.A.’s existing multipurpose Cartagena Terminal.

APM Terminals and Compas S.A. plan to jointly invest over $200m in upgrading and expanding the Cartagena Terminal and its equipment. The companies expect the upgrades to facilitate the tripling of annual throughput capacity for the terminal and allow it to handle the larger post-Panamax vessels transiting the widened Panama Canal.

Under the terms of the agreement Compas S.A. will continue to be the concession holder while APM Terminals will hold a 51% majority share in the joint venture that will run the facility. The transaction will be subject to compliance with the necessary formalities with the relevant authorities.

“Colombia represents one of the most promising investment opportunities in the region and we are pleased to participate in the country’s ongoing economic growth and development. Cartagena has enormous significance in South America ports and this joint venture underlines APM Terminals growth and investment plans,” said APM Terminals’ CEO Kim Fejfer.

In 2014 the existing port of Cartagena recorded throughput volumes of 2.23m TEUs. The Compas S.A. Cartagena Terminal has an annual throughput capacity of 250,000 TEUs and 1.5m tons of general cargo. It becomes the sixth operational Latin American facility within the APM Terminals Global Terminal Network, which includes operating port facilities in Callao, Peru; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Santos, Pecém, and Itajaí, Brazil. APM Terminals’ Latin American interests handled an overall combined container throughput of 2.1m TEUs in 2014.

Compas S.A., headquartered in Bogotá, Colombia, was formed as a joint venture between Grupo Argos, a Colombian conglomerate with investments in the infrastructure, cement and energy industries, and Southern Port Holding Inc., formed by the Colombian Echavarría Obregón family and Spanish-based Ership S.A. While Compas S.A. is a major terminal operator in Colombia, it also has terminal interests in Houston, Texas, US, and Panama.

“Compas S.A. has the service reputation and expertise in Cartagena and Colombia that ideally fits our Latin America partner strategy and port development ambitions. We look forward to working with them on developing the Cartagena terminal further,” added Joe Nicklaus Nielsen, APM Terminals, Vice President and Global Head of Container Business Development.

As of 2015, APM Terminals has two deep-water terminals under construction in Latin America at Moin, Costa Rica, and Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico.