UAE-based ports operator DP World has secured a 50 year concession to develop a greenfield multi-purpose port at Posorja, Ecuador.

For developing the entire project, DP World will invest over $1bn, with an initial (Phase 1) investment of $500m.

The initial investment will involve the purchase of land, dredging of a new access channel, a 20km access road and a 400m berth equipped to handle containers and other cargo.

"We are delighted to extend our South American footprint with a major investment in Ecuador."

DP World group chairman and CEO Ahmed Bin Sulayem said: "We are delighted to extend our South American footprint with a major investment in Ecuador.

"The additional value it will bring to the economy is compelling, increasing competitiveness through the provision of modern container terminal services in central Ecuador.

"Posorja will contribute to our continued growth in the developing markets of South America in the years ahead. This investment builds on our existing network in the region, with terminals in Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Suriname.

"We look forward to bringing DP World’s world class productivity-enhancing, security, safety and environmental best practices in container terminal development and operation to Ecuador."

Construction of the project is planned to begin within the next six to nine months. It will require around two years to complete the project, resulting in a capacity of 750,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU).

During the construction phase of the project, the company intends to create thousands of jobs. Close to 1,000 jobs will be added during operations, and a logistics zone will be developed to create a regional trading hub.

The project will concentrate on containers that can handle other types of cargo and will be executed with DP World’s local partners, Consorcio Nobis and Grupo Vilaseca.

Once completed, Posorja Port will complement DP World’s network in South America by creating deep-water access for Ecuador’s global trade.

The proposed port will provide access to a 15m draft compared to the current 9.75m drafts at the existing Guayaquil ports.

More capacity can be added for the Guayaquil terminals, which last year witnessed throughput of over 1.75 million TEU, close to their existing limits

The port will provide long-term expansion potential with up to 2,000m of berth and over 200 hectares of terminal area.