The Puerto Bolívar transport project (the "Project") aims to finance the capital expenditure required for the first stage of an investment plan for the modernization, operation and maintenance activities of the Puerto Bolívar Port Terminal, located at the province of El Oro, Ecuador. This investment will expand the port’s capacity to operate containers from 120,000 TEUs to up to 600,000 TEUs per year and will modernize the infrastructure and technology for a more efficient operation. The total estimated cost of the Project is up to US $ 350 million, which will be financed through an A loan from the IDB Group of up to US $ 100 million. The financing plan will be completed with the participation of other commercial banks and / or multilateral organizations and capital contributions by the Project sponsor and 100% Shareholder: “Yilport Holding A.S.” (the “Company”) with a debt-capital ratio of not less than 30/70.
Ecuador is one of the largest banana and shrimp exporters in the world. It is estimated that up to half of the annual export of bananas in Ecuador could be captured by Puerto Bolívar due to its strategic location in the Pacific Ocean. Shrimp is a highly strategic product for the country and for the first time, in 2017 was ranked as the first in terms of value (3,038 M USD for shrimp vs 3,035 M USD for the banana) contribution to the country's exports (among non-petroleum exports). Both products are perishable goods, so the increase in containerization capacity associated with this project will be essential for the improvement of export capacity for the region and the country, especially considering that reefer containers must be positioned empty, as well as with the pre-trip process done in Ecuador.
The Project is part of the privatization process of the existing Puerto Bolívar. Yılport Terminal Operations SA – Ecuador has been granted a concession for 50 years to operate the existing port assets and made some new investments. At the end of the concession period it is expected that all assets will be transferred to the Port Authority.
The first phase to be financed will take approximately 3 years and is aimed at increasing the port capacity to up to 600.000 TEU per year. The capex plan will include dredging works, which will deepen the draft to -16.50 meters, a new 450-meter long quay and the acquisition of new cargo handling equipment.