Dubai-based DP World, which relinquished control over six US ports in a
political firestorm last year, is studying plans to build a container
terminal in the port of Mariel.
DP World agreed in early October to do a feasibility study to build a
US$250 million container terminal in Mariel that would start operating
in 2012. A deal is in the works, and they have signed various agreements.
DP World became the world's third-largest container port business last
year when it bought Britain's Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation.
But it was forced to sell P&O's US assets when the Bush administration
came under fire for allowing an Arab-owned company to control US ports.
P&O planned for several years to rebuild Mariel port, 30 miles west of
Havana, and turn it into a modern container port. It was the site of a
massive boat lift in 1980, when vessels from Florida picked up 125,000
Cubans wanting to leave. Its strategic proximity to the US makes Mariel
an attractive long-term investment.