Ports are critical to coastal, export-rich economies such as Ecuador. Despite its dependence on exports for income and jobs, Ecuador has an outdated and congested port infrastructure, much of which is inaccessible to modern ships.
Although much of the produce Ecuador exports is produced in the country's southern El Oro province, it must be shipped by truck for more than 100 miles to reach a suitable port, a time-consuming process that raises the risk of spoilage.
In 2016, the Government of Ecuador prioritized the expansion and modernization of El Oro's local port, Puerto Bolívar.
Solution and Impact
A DFC loan of up to $150 million will support the expansion and modernization of the Puerto Bolívar container port in Ecuador's El Oro province. The project will improve the security of global supply chains by making it more efficient for businesses in Ecuador to import and export goods. Upgrades including the addition of cold storage facilities, modern electrified cranes, and the dredging of approach channels will allow the port to accommodate larger ships, expanding the port's capacity.
The expansion is expected to increase both the overall volume and the quality of goods transited through the port and to increase Ecuador's port traffic capacity by 34 percent.
The port expansion will also create jobs and spur investment in a country that has not yet recovered from COVID-related economic disruptions. The port's expansion is expected to support up to 1,250 direct and indirect jobs, attract up to $750 million of foreign direct investment, and generate more than $100 million in revenue transfers to the local municipality.