United Arab Emirates (UAE) based port operator DP World Group has commenced the construction of a deepwater port in Posorja, Ecuador, which will require an investment of more than $1bn.

DP World is set to invest $500m for the acquisition of land during the development's first phase, as well as carry out the dredging of a new access channel, a 20km access road and a 400m berth to handle containers and other cargo.

The ongoing investment will also see the development of a 1km² logistics and industrial park adjacent to the port, which will be known as the Special Economic Development Zone.

DP World received a 50-year concession from the Government of Ecuador last year for the port's construction, which will feature a capacity of 750,000 twenty-foot container equivalent (TEU).

The port is expected to help Ecuador drive its economic growth and facilitate better connections with international markets upon completion.

DP World Group chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said: “This is an important landmark in Ecuador’s growth story. 

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"We’re celebrating today the first public-private partnership that will benefit local economy and change forever the way it trades with the world.

"The port has been designed to serve the growing needs of global markets, something we’ve been able to witness first-hand with our 78 terminals around the world."

“The port has been designed to serve the growing needs of global markets, something we’ve been able to witness first-hand with our 78 terminals around the world, and will dramatically improve the global competitiveness of Ecuadorian exporters.”

The facility's construction is expected to create thousands of employment opportunities and will be completed in approximately 24 months.

A further 1,000 new jobs are also slated to become available once the port begins operations.

DP World Posorja general manager Jorge Velásquez said: “This facility will help Ecuador become an important player in regional and global trade, and its deep drafts and quay lengths will handle Post-Panamax vessels to complement Guayaquil and other nearby terminals.

“Its navigation channel is designed for ease of access, allowing large capacity ships to call at our shores.”

DP World previously completed the ‘Phase 2 North’ expansion project at the Fairview Container Terminal at Prince Rupert port in Canada last month.

The expansion is anticipated to increase the terminal's maximum container throughput.