The ITM Group, concessionaire company of the Port of Cabo Rojo in Pedernales, announced on Monday changes in the design of the work with the aim of respecting the marine ecosystem present in the area.
In this new proposal, which corresponds to the integration phase of the environmental impact study to the plans to carry out the infrastructure, the executives ruled out the construction of two breakwaters, leaving only one, 670 meters long.
“This construction method is less invasive because there are fewer piles or columns to be built in the water,” highlighted the company’s executive vice president, Mariana Perrilliat, adding that the dredging area will be reduced by more than 90%, which represents less intervention of the hand of man in the marine depths.
The construction proposal maintains the commitment to attract more than a million tourists – with an average cost between US$80 and US$100 per passenger – through the arrival of four oasis-type boats.
The construction is estimated to be far from Bahía Honda, an area inhabited by sea species such as stars, sponges, urchins and other species that depend on the coral reefs found there.
The marine biologist and technical expert of the company, Alonso Reyes, explained that the marine structures that have formed on the sediments and residues that lie on the seabed as a consequence of the mining activity that this port housed in its beginnings will be transferred to a surrounding area of the bay, “so that the characteristics that the natural reef offers are also offered by these new organisms.”
He added that the time set for monitoring the marine species that would be gradually relocated from the place where the breakwater will be built to its new space in Bahía Honda is four years.
The modifications to the project have meant, for the concessionaire, a 20% increase in the initial capital for the work, of some US$97 million. However, Perrilliat considers that the guarantees of sustainability at the time of the work are worth it.
“The best thing that Cabo Rojo and Pedernales have, apart from their people, are their resources. This guarantees a greater durability of the project and that the attractions of Pedernales and its surroundings can be enjoyed by many more people, for many more years”.
The project will be presented tomorrow, Tuesday, to the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources for its evaluation, as well as to representatives of environmental organizations, who are also invited to an underwater survey that the company will carry out this Wednesday to demonstrate that the work is viable and complies with the conditions required to mitigate its environmental impact.
Similarly, the company plans to meet with the community of Pedernales to present the new design for a port that, once built, is expected to generate more than 1,500 direct and indirect jobs. Figures that, after the operation phase, would multiply up to 2,600, benefiting both the inhabitants of the demarcation and the surrounding areas. Until now, the concessionaire estimates the opening date of the port for December 15, 2023.