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Gov’t opens bids for $250M upgrade to San Juan Bay ports area

The Puerto Rico Public-Private Partnerships Authority, in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Ports Authority, are seeking bids to repair, design, build, finance, maintain and operate certain marine cruise terminals in the San Juan Bay, with an associated investment of $250 million.

The piers in the San Juan Bay that are proposed to form part of the project are Pier 1, Pier 3, Pier 4, Piers 11 to 14, and the Pan American Piers, along with the quay wall and walkways between Pier 1, Pier 2, Pier 3 and Pier 4 — the cruise terminals. The total economic impact is estimated at more than $20 billion over the 30-year life of the contract.

Over those three decades, the “private partner will be allowed to invest in ports infrastructure while safeguarding current and future business and better serving the cruise industry’s needs,” according to a description of the project.

Multiple proponents participated in the procurement process, starting with the Request for Qualification, which led to selecting three finalists to participate in the Request for Proposals stage. Negotiations with the preferred proponent are expected to begin during the last quarter of 2019.

“The development of the piers has been ad-hoc; with the Ports Authority endeavoring to support the evolving needs of the cruise industry within the limits of the finances available for development,” according to the document.

“Due to these funding constraints, the Ports Authority development strategy has been hampered and development has been limited to a minimum level of investment needed to maintain the Piers. As a result, the San Juan cruise facilities today are undersized and fail to meet the needs of the modern cruise industry,” the project description summary noted.

The Port Authority’s key objectives are: “solve the condition and capacity of the piers, but most importantly, support and encourage sustainable tourism, the cruise industry and economic growth in Puerto Rico.”

The goal is to increase cruise ship passenger volumes by at least 3.5 times, the agency said.

Author Details
Business reporter with 25 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other areas of the economy.

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