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APM Terminals inaugurates new Moín terminal

New container terminal is a giant leap forward for Costa Rica’s export economy.

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APM Terminals celebrated the inauguration of APM Terminals Moín last week, its new US$1 billion terminal that is set to be a huge boost to Costa Rica’s export economy. In a statement APM Terminals said “APM Terminals Moín today will enable products to be shipped on transatlantic routes to European and Asian markets without transshipment. The Terminal will also move Costa Rica to number 1 for connectivity, out of 139 countries ranked by the World Economic Forum”.

The terminal has always intended to be an export gateway, and in fact the terminal operator’s agreement with the Costa Rican Government means that no more than 10% of its design throughput can be used for processing transhipment cargo. Moín was designed to support the containerisation of the majority of Costa Rica’s banana, pineapple, melon and other tropical fruit exports. APM Terminals expects that “a very high percentage of the ships that transit through the Panama Canal” will call at Moín, with the number of shipping routes that reach the port increasing by 285%.


The terminal is built on a 40-hectare artificial island, with a 650-meter long pier and a container yard with the capacity to hold 26,000 TEU. The yard has power capacity for 3,800 refrigerated containers, a huge increase for Costa Rica, where Moín and Limon currently have less than 300 plugs between them.


"At APM Terminals we partner with governments to become the best port operator in the world and Moín is a great example. Without any doubt, we are inaugurating today a new era in international and intra-regional trade in Central America,” said Morten H. Engelstoft, CEO of APM Terminals.

The new terminal will transform Costa Rica's cold chain.
The new terminal will transform Costa Rica's cold chain.

The new terminal has caused some controversy as it is expected to eventually take all the container business away from existing terminals at Moín and Limon, which are operated by the state port authority Junta de Administración Portuaria y de Desarrollo Económico de la Vertiente Atlántica de Costa Rica (Japdeva). Japdeva has installed two STS cranes at its facilityin Moin, but has had ongoing problems. It is also trying to reinvent itself as a multi cargo terminal operator.


For Costa Rica, developing a new, modern box terminal is an important step towards growing its productive economy, supported by an efficient container terminal. With six STS cranes and 29 RTGs APM Terminals said the terminal is expected “to continuously perform an average of 180 movements per hour for loading and unloading. These efficiency standards will significantly reduce vessel service times from 40 hours (average time in other docks) to just 15 hours”.


Carlos Alvarado Quesada, President of the Republic of Costa Rica, said this productivity is important to growing the economy. “One of the goals of the Costa Rican Government is the job creation with a territoriality approach and, with this project that we are inaugurating today, the conditions of competitiveness and economic reactivation are being created for the province of Limón and also for the entire country,” he said.

APM Terminals emphasised that Moín is starting operations with 650 employees, mostly trained thanks to an agreement with the National Institute of Learning, and has the potential to generate 147 thousand indirect jobs in the following decade nationwide, according to an independent study. “APM Terminals will also make a contribution, with 7.5% of their net income being paid to the Board of Port Administration and Economic Development of the Caribbean (Japdeva, in Spanish). This will equate to approximate USD 20 million on an annual basis”, APM Terminals added.


“We are proud that the country has trusted APM Terminals with the mission of developing and operating this amazing port. A concession that also brings socioeconomic opportunities to the community, the country and the region,” said Kenneth Waugh, Managing Director of APM Terminals Moin.

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