President Abinader tours advances at Montecristi’s Manzanillo port and energy mega project

President Luis Abinader was in Montecristi on Monday, 8 July 2024 to inspect advances made by the public-private initiatives that are enhancing infrastructure and turning that northwestern province into a strategic hub for economic growth and investments. The government sees the plan to build a northern gateway for 14 provinces in the border and Cibao region as promoting long-term sustainable development on the sensitive border with Haiti.

The government has spearheaded private-public alliances for the expanded port that is the natural deepwater port closest to the United States, with easy access for shipping lines. Manzanillo Port will facilitate shipments of farm and free zone manufacturing produce coming from the Cibao region. Today, companies need to send their goods to Santo Domingo on the south coast.

During his visit on 8 July, President Abinader inaugurated a first auxiliary dock at Manzanillo Bay. The dock is 270 meters long and is already facilitating the landing of oversized components that are crucial for the overall port and energy project.

Jean Luis Rodríguez, director of the Dominican Port Authority, emphasized the essential role of the auxiliary dock in facilitating the construction of Energía 2000’s 414 MW thermal power plant. It will enable timely and efficient handling of materials, oversized equipment, and other inputs.

The President also reviewed progress on energy projects that will add 1200 MW to the national electric grid. The energy and port infrastructure is strategically important, especially in the case that a major hurricane impact the southern coast. It will also supply power to 14 provinces located in the north and west of the country. Today natural gas power installations are located in the south.

During the meetings with the President in Montecristi, Jaime Santana Bonetti, president of Energía 2000, spoke of the importance of the public-private partnership for regional development. He underscored that these achievements are not just concrete and steel structures but tangible outcomes of fruitful collaboration between the government and private enterprises.

President Abinader was able to see for himself the progress being made on the Block 1 and Block 2 energy projects, comprising two 420 MW net capacity power plants, totaling 840 MW of efficient energy generation from natural gas. This is a US$1.7 billion investment.

President Abinader also initiated the construction of the Early Gas Fuel Reception Maritime Terminal, a US$33 million investment, that is vital for storing natural gas and other fuels to support the thermal power plant and other energy projects in the area.

The Presidency reported that these investments not only promote job creation, infrastructure development, and clean technology but also foster progress and sustainability in the energy and port sectors of the country.

The President assessed progress being made at the first phase of the Manzanillo terminal, including the recently completed paving covering over 45,000 square meters in five stages. This is a US$6.9 million investment.

The port and energy project is also having a favorable impact on jobs in the northwestern region, benefitting people who live in the provinces of Montecristi, Valverde and Santiago Rodríguez.

Among those present were ministers including Igor Rodríguez, Acting Admininistrative Minister of the Presidency; Energy and Mines Minister Antonio Almonte; Banreservas general manager Samuel Pereyra; Andrés Astacio, executive vice president of Electricity Distribution Companies (Consejo Unificado de las Empresas Distribuidoras de Electricidad), and directors from Edenorte, the National Energy Commission, ETED, Governor Nelsy Cruz, among others.

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9 July 2024