• February 20, 2015

February 13, 2015?The\r\nfirst seaport terminal in Costa Rica designed primarily for handling grain, a public works project supported by Nathan Associates Inc., officially opened yesterday with a ceremony attended by the country?s president, Louis Guillermo Solís.

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The terminal, at Puerto\r\nCaldera, will streamline delivery of imported corn, soybeans, wheat, and other\r\nbulk farm commodities to buyers in Costa Rica, saving costs. Grain ships previously\r\nhad to compete with container ships and other cargo vessels at the busy Pacific\r\nCoast port.

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The $47 million project\r\nexemplifies public-private partnerships that Nathan Associates is expert in\r\nfacilitating. Nathan?s Project Finance Unit, directed by Rafael Enríquez, provided due diligence for the proposed investment, then served\r\nas independent engineer for the chief lender, International Bank of Costa Rica\r\nSA (BICSA). The project developer, Sociedad\r\nPortuaria Granelera de Caldera (SPGC), will operate the port, the\r\ngovernment will receive fees, and customers will receive efficient, reliable\r\nservice.

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Will Handle Significant Share of Grain Imports

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Construction of the\r\n180-meter-long dock (almost 600 feet) began in February 2013 and was completed\r\nat the end of December 2014.The water was dredged to a depth of 16 meters (52\r\nfeet), enabling the terminal to accommodate vessels of up to 42,000 dead weight\r\ntonnage (DWT)?large enough for dry bulk cargo. Ships offload grain directly\r\ninto waiting trucks rather than bins or silos. Eventually the terminal could\r\nhandle other types of cargo if required.

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The new terminal is\r\nenvisioned to handle a significant portion of the country?s grain imports, which\r\nhave increased in the past several years. While small compared with other Central\r\nAmerican ports handling grain, the new terminal at Puerto Caldera enables Costa\r\nRica to import more grain directly.

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Nathan?s Role

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The Nathan team?s two\r\nphases of work on the project began with due diligence on the proposed\r\ninvestment. In that phase, the Nathan team provided an opinion on the\r\nconcession contract between the government and SPGC; the sponsor?s forecasts for\r\ndemand and operating revenues; the technical feasibility of the project; the regulatory\r\nand economic environment; the proposed operational, insurance and commercial\r\nplans; and the main assumptions of the financial model.

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In the second phase, the\r\nNathan team inspected construction, approved monthly reports and change orders,\r\nand approved lender?s disbursements. Nathan assessed progress of construction\r\nagainst the schedule and budget, and certified that port construction was safe,\r\nprudent, and in compliance with good engineering practices as well as the\r\nconstruction and engineering contracts.

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Mr. Enríquez is Nathan?s\r\nmanaging director for the Project Finance Unit, which advises lenders, project\r\ndevelopers, and other parties on investments in maritime ports, airports, and electric\r\npower plants. ?The unit?s dual expertise in engineering and finance, along with\r\nits many global contacts, means clients receive the integrated support they\r\nneed to move infrastructure projects from drafting to complete commercial\r\noperation,? Mr. Enríquez said.

\r\n\r\nThe Project Finance Unit has\r\nbeen involved in a variety of development projects in Latin America, including\r\nin Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, and Peru, as well as other parts\r\nof the world.

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