CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA – Today, USTDA awarded a grant to Terminal Fluvial Andalucía, S.A. (Andalucia River Terminal or "TFA") for a feasibility study to determine the technical and financial viability of a new inland river port along the Magdalena River in Colombia. The feasibility study will also include the preparation of preliminary design documents for the river port. TFA, a member company of Grupo Puerto de Cartagena (GPC), plans to build and operate an inland river port along the Magdalena River, which would function as a feeder to the Port of Cartagena, operated by GPC's flagship company, Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Cartagena (the Port Company of Cartagena or "SPRC").
The $550,000 grant was signed in Cartagena on behalf of USTDA by Country Manager Jacob Flewelling and on behalf of TFA by its CEO, Alfonso Salas Trujillo.
Currently, almost all cargo shipped through the Port of Cartagena is transported to and from the interior of the country via the national highway network. With the implementation of the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, the development of the river port will provide an important new avenue for more efficient trade. Specifically, port facilities along the Magdalena River will help diversify transport routes and improve efficiency in the movement of heavy goods between the Caribbean coast and the interior of the country by increasing capacity, lowering costs, and minimizing risks related to ground transport, while also significantly reducing CO2 emissions.
"We are pleased to partner with TFA on this important project to support the development of the Magdalena River to facilitate trade and boost Colombia's economic growth," USTDA Director Leocadia I. Zak stated. "The project is also an opportunity to connect U.S. businesses with opportunities to support Colombia's infrastructure development."
This project builds on USTDA's history of close cooperation with the Colombian ports sector. USTDA assisted the Port of Cartagena obtain Container Security Initiative status in 2007 by funding a chain-of-custody security study. Additionally, at the Ports of Cartagena and Contecar, USTDA also funded a study to advance the establishment of a unified customs and security examination facility. It will be the first of its kind in Colombia, for which required regulatory changes have already been implemented, thereby allowing for cargo inspection to take place outside of a given terminal.
The opportunity to conduct the USTDA-funded feasibility study will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website. A link to the FBO announcement will be posted to USTDA's website at www.ustda.gov. Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions in the FBO announcement. TFA will select the U.S. contractor that will complete the feasibility study.