The agreement includes plans for infrastructure investment of up to $350 million across two phases
Cruise port operator Global Ports Holding (GPH) has signed a 30-year concession agreement with the Puerto Rico Ports Authority for San Juan Cruise Port in Puerto Rico.
San Juan Cruise Port handled 1.8 million unique passengers in 2019, which will make it the third-largest cruise port in GPH’s global network.
"I am delighted that the Government of Puerto Rico has selected GPH for this public-private partnership to improve and expand San Juan Cruise Port,” said Mehmet Kutman, chairman and CEO of Global Ports Holding. “The addition of this fantastic location to our cruise port network marks a further important step in our growth strategy and will grow cruise passenger volumes across our network to over 16 million passengers per annum.”
GPH will pay an upfront concession fee of $75 million to the Puerto Rico Ports Authority. During an initial investment phase, GPH will spend approximately $100 million, which will be focused on critical infrastructure repairs at Piers 1 and 4 and the Pan American Piers, along with upgrades to the terminal buildings and the walkway.
The second investment phase would then commence upon the fulfilment of several pre-agreed criteria, including cruise passenger volumes recovering to pre-pandemic levels. In this phase, GPH will invest an estimated $250 million in expanding the capacity of the cruise port by constructing a new cruise pier and a homeport terminal capable of handling the largest cruise ships at Piers 11 and 12.
GPH will also invest in systems, equipment and technology alongside its infrastructure investments to improve the port’s operational performance and ensure environmental protection. Its destination marketing team will also work with the port management team and local stakeholders to enable guests to visit the attractions on offer in Puerto Rico.
“The GPH team looks forward to working in partnership with all stakeholders to refurbish and reinvigorate this leading cruise port to create a world-leading cruise port experience for the benefit of all stakeholders,” said Kutman.
The concession’s financial close and commencement of operations are expected to occur by early 2023, subject to the completion of the closing conditions.
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