LISTED International Container Terminal Service, Inc. (ICTSI) announced on Wednesday its subsidiary in Ecuador had signed a new contract with the Latin American state to further develop its largest terminal there.

Contecon Guayaquil S.A., ICTSI’s subsidiary in Ecuador, is investing $18 million “to boost the port’s capacity” to accommodate larger vessels, the listed company said in an e-mailed statement.

José Antonio Contreras, the general manager of ICTSI’s Contecon Guayaquil, was quoted as saying: “This is a decisive complement to the joint commitment we have made to achieve great objectives in pursuit of the development of this sector.”

Mr. Contreras signed the contract with Gabriel Martínez, Ecuador’s minister of transportation and public works, according to ICTSI.

The company said its Ecuador unit had started servicing larger vessels called neopanamax last year.

“[It is the] first port in the country capable of handling this large class of containerships following the dredging of the 95-kilometer access channel leading to the Port of Guayaquil,” it said.

The ICTSI Ecuador also plans to “increase the total investment amount to $30 million as part of its commitment to enable and promote Ecuador’s foreign trade,” the company added.

In 2007, ICTSI was awarded a 20-year operating concession for container and multipurpose terminals in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

“Last December, the Autoridad Portuaria de Guayaquil extended the concession period for another 20 years, allowing the company to operate until 2047,” ICTSI said.

In the Philippines, ICTSI operates the Manila International Container Terminal, New Container Terminals 1 and 2 in Subic Bay and Cavite Gateway Terminal. It also operates terminals in several markets in Asia Pacific, Africa, Americas, Europe, and Middle East. — Arjay L. Balinbin