Several major Colombain coal operators have reported progress on expanding port facilities, which is essential to meet their goals of growing production to 120 million metric tons per year (mt/y) in two years, according to La Republica.

This year, Drummond, Cerrejón and Prodeco will invest more than $1.3 billion in construction projects and material handling upgrades. According to Alfonso Saade, executive director of Fenalcarbon, by 2030 the mines located in regions such as Cesar and La Guajira plan to produce as much as 200 million mt/y. Saade believes the existing investment allocated to ports and general facilities will generate enough confidence for Colombia to achieve its goals in terms of future production.

Augusto Jiménez, president of Drummond Colombia, said the main works to construct the port facilities have already started. These works will allow the company to load the coal directly into ships instead of transloading. The $450 million project is expected to be completed by 2013. In addition to increasing exports, Jiménez said the projects would also strive to minimize the emissions.