New port to open in January.
He didn't give a date, but the opening may coincide with the visit of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff during the Cuba-hosted summit of CELAC member nations in Havana, Jan. 28-29.
Using Brazilian funding of $640 million, Brazil's Grupo Odebrecht is building the container port at the small town 30 miles west of Havana. The first phase of the deep-water port project, including 700 meters of pier, was scheduled to be completed in December. Once fully operating, the Mariel container terminal will replace the Port of Havana as Cuba's main port of entry for goods, placing the island at the forefront of shipping hubs trying to benefit from the Panama Canal widening, which is slated for completion in 2015.
The port will be operated by Singapore-based PSA International.