On the occasion of a course on sustainable logistics, mobility and energy efficiency carried out by ECLAC’s Division of Natural Resources and Infrastructure in late January 2016, officials from that division visited the rebuilding works of the container terminal at Port-au- Prince’s International Port, in Haiti, which suffered severe damage during the earthquake of 2010.
Accompanied by representatives of that country’s National Port Authority (NPA), the experts viewed the first 150 linear meters (of 410 meters total) of the terminal’s Northern Wharf, inaugurated on January 22, 2016. This is the conclusion of the first of three construction stages for the new terminal. The other two stages, measuring 130 meters each, are expected to be finished by June of this year.
According to local authorities, this project is an important part of Haiti’s reconstruction aimed at improving its position in the region. To that end, they have committed to adopting all the appropriate measures needed to increase the efficiency of the services that the port offers for the benefit of the entire community.
The new wharf has a depth of 11.5 meters and, once operations begin, it will tend to ships using two mobile cranes. The terminal’s yard will cover one hectare (1 ha). The current construction work also includes the change and construction of a new roadway access to the port, the terminal and a ramp for Roll on-Roll off services.
According to data from the NPA, container activity in Port-au-Prince’s port has evolved positively over the last few years, with clear signs of recovery after the 2010 earthquake. In 2015, the port moved 111,000 containers or 178,000 TEU (the Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit, based on a container that is 20 feet, or 6.25 meters, long). This implies growth in exports compared with previous years, with increased volume of more than 91,000 TEU in 2015.
Nevertheless, activity has not yet resumed the levels seen prior to the earthquake, since port operations were limited by the wharf’s rebuilding until the recent inauguration of the first stage. Although certain restrictions on operations are expected to continue until the terminal is fully reconstructed, the progress achieved to date opens the possibility of increasing port activity considerably, the specialists say.
In speaking with ECLAC’s delegation, the NPA’s General Directorate reaffirmed its determination to transform Haiti’s maritime sector so it can be modern and competitive, and to maintain close collaboration with other similar institutions in the region.