Puerto Brisa coal terminal
|This article is part of the CoalSwarm coverage of Colombia and coal.|
The Puerto Brisa coal terminal is a recently constructed multipurpose port near Dibulla, in La Guajira department on Colombia's Caribbean coast. Inaugurated in 2014, the port has a loading capacity of 5000 tons of coal per hour and a 66-foot deep harbor capable of receiving capesize ships up to 180,000 tons DWT.
At the time of its inauguration in 2014, the port had the potential to handle 30 million tonnes of coal and other merchandise per year. Phase Two of the project calls for construction of a 325km railway that will connect the port to Colombia's interior coal mines, coupled with expansion of the port's processing capacity to 50 million tonnes per year. Phase Three of the project calls for the construction of five additional piers to handle containers and general cargo.
- Operator: Sociedad Portuaria Puerto Brisa S.A.
- Location: Dibulla, La Guajira Department, Colombia
- Existing Capacity (Tonnes per annum): 30 million
- Additional Proposed Capacity (Tonnes per annum): 20 million
- Status: Proposed expansion
- Type: Exports
- Source of Coal: Colombia
- Cost of Expansion:
- Financing for Expansion:
Enjoying an advantageous location between the Panama Canal and Colombia's most productive coalfields, Puerto Brisa was designed to handle the massive amounts of coal that Colombia expects to mine and export in coming decades. Construction of the port began in July 2010 and was completed in 2014, following temporary setbacks that included protests from indigenous groups opposed to the port's construction on environmental grounds. In August 2014, Italian manufacturer Bedeschi delivered a shiploader and more than three kilometers of conveyers to Puerto Brisa, and in October 2014, the new port loaded its first export shipment of coal produced by Brisa S.A., a consortium that operates mines in Colombia's Santander region. Coal Age magazine reports that another company likely to start exporting coal from Puerto Brisa is Pacific Coal Resources of Canada, whose La Caypa and Cerro Largo mines are located within 250 km of the port.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos attended the port's official inauguration ceremony in December 2014, stating that “We are realizing our dream of catching up on infrastructure.” However, according to Madrid-based energy analyst Andres Cala Campo, Puerto Brisa will likely operate well below full capacity for the foreseeable future due to unfavorable coal prices and the lack of a railroad to transport coal from Colombia's interior mines to the port. Puerto Brisa's company chairman Fabio Ramirez, in a conversation with Mr. Cala Campo, estimated that the port would only export two million tons of coal in 2015, far less than the 30 million tons it was designed to handle. Mr. Cala Campo predicts that for the foreseeable future - until world coal prices rise again, making construction of a railway economically viable - all coal exported through Puerto Brisa will have to travel from Colombia's interior mines by truck, which will add significantly to the cost. For now, he expects Puerto Brisa to "focus on smaller coal producers with mining operations in the vicinity that lack their own export facilities, like Centromin and Pacific Coal."
In July 2017, citing multiple infractions, Colombia's environmental regulatory agency ANLA indefinitely suspended all coal operations at the Puerto Brisa terminal, including storage, receiving, loading, and unloading of coal. Prior to issuing its ruling, ANLA performed several inspections at the site in response to complaints from members of the local community. Violations discovered during these inspections included improper storage of coal, improper unloading procedures, insufficient cleanup of tractor trailers following coal delivery, and pollution of the terminal's dock area and adjacent ocean waters. The suspension was lifted after one month.
In June 2019, the expansion of a rail corridor which would move coal to Puerto Brisa more easily was being considered for feasibility at an estimated project cost of $680 million USD.
As of July 2021, there has been no progress on the construction of the port expansion.
Carretera Troncal del Caribe Km. 22 Vía Riohacha
Dibulla – La Guajira
Phone: +57 (1) 6222106
Articles and resources
- "Puerto Brisa", Puerto Brisa website, accessed January 2015.
- "Colombian Coal Prepares for Canal Expansion", Coal Age, November 22, 2013.
- "Operations at Colombia’s Puerto Brisa coal port delayed until late 2012", Port Technology, July 25, 2011.
- "Bedeschi supplies shiploader to Puerto Brisa", Port Technology, August 4, 2014.
- "Llegó el primer buque de carga a Puerto Brisa", Diario del Norte, October 7, 2014.
- "Palabras del Presidente Juan Manuel Santos en la inauguración de Puerto Brisa, en el mar Caribe", Presidencia de la República de Colombia, December 7, 2014.
- "Puerto Brisa: story of a great port with no coal", Andres Cala Campo, December 9, 2014.
- "Suspenden actividades carboneras en Puerto Brisa, Guajira", El Espectador, July 18, 2017.
- "ANLA suspende actividades en Puerto Brisa, La Guajira", El Heraldo, July 19, 2017.
- "Puerto Brisa, en La Guajira, no operará por incumplir plan ambiental, según la Anla", Asuntos Legales, July 21, 2017sdx.
- Personal communication, Pedro Pulido, Commercial Director, Brisa S.A., 4 May 2018
- "USD 680 million railroad development in Colombia | Infrastructure Finance & Investment". 2019-06-18. Retrieved 2021-07-23.