The Department of Economic Development and Commerce opened the call for Request for Qualifications to identify potential candidates to develop the proposed $300 million Puerto Rico Ocean Technology Complex (PROTech) in Yabucoa.
Economic Development Secretary Manuel Laboy unveiled the master plan for the project that also involves the Puerto Rico Land Administration.
“PROTech is an all-encompassing and innovative project that will use water from the Yabucoa coast and the energy it produces to develop multiple eco-friendly and scientific research projects in the southeastern area of Puerto Rico,” Laboy said.
“Those interested in presenting their development plans should be highly qualified entities with experience and the ability to design, build, finance, operate and maintain this cutting-edge project,” said Laboy.
“Since 2017, we have worked hard to build PROTech’s master plan, which will be a starting point to invest in ocean-related industry efforts and create the technologies needed for the transition of conventional energy and fuels, to more responsible and sustainable energy alternatives,” he said.
PROTech’s proposal calls for the development of facilities for the conversion of thermal ocean energy, the development of ocean deep-sea industries, an institute of education and research, a recreational, cultural and commercial center, as well as a hospital institution, among others. All of these projects will benefit from the energy output of the project, he said.
Puerto Rico Land Administration Executive Director, Dalcia Lebrón said, “this innovative concept that will be the first in the Caribbean and the third in the world, has a master plan that respects nature and promotes eco-environmental initiatives, in accordance with the administration’s guidelines.”
“The selected ground area in Yabucoa is available for the development of this important PROTech project. We’ll continue to work as a team with the Department of Economic Development and Commerce, other government agencies, as well as with the private sector so that this project begins as soon as possible for the benefit of all Puerto Ricans,” she said.
The municipality of Yabucoa was selected because it has the necessary characteristics to develop a project of this scope, Laboy said.
PROTech’s master plan follows a similar project existing in Hawaii. The firms Technical Consulting, Estudios Técnicos, Makai Engineering and Integra conducted a feasibility study based on that model,, he said.