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Daniel Roth

Project Director, Empresa Portuaria San Antonio, Chile

Searching for mutual benefits in the reconversion of San Antonio´s Coast and the new Outer Port Expansion Project.

Almost 90% of all of Chile´s foreign trade goes through its ports. Economic growth and globalization have driven rapid growth in the ports in central Chile, specifically in the Valparaíso and San Antonio ports. San Antonio is currently the largest port in Chile (it handles over 35% of the overall national maritime trade) with an annual throughput of 18.2 million tons in 2016, 68% of which is container cargo.
To meet growing demand, in 2011 the Port of San Antonio and its concessionaires implemented an intensive expansion process that allowed the port to increase capacity from 1,5 Million TEU/year to a capacity of roughly 3,0 million TEU/year.
However, recent demand estimates indicate that, in the second half of the next decade, Chile will require a new breakwater and two new terminals to meet growing demand. For this reason, San Antonio´s Port Authority initiated plans for a new expansion that, developed in phases, will allow it to add an additional capacity of 6 million TEU/year, thereby giving San Antonio an installed capacity of 9 million TEU/year.
San Antonio´s Outer Port Expansion Project (Puerto Exterior) will require building a 2-mile-long breakwater, and reclaiming over 180 hectares of land, where two 1.1-mile-long berths will be built.
A key area of interest in both the design and decision-making process of the project is determining how to ensure the project´s sustainable interaction with the city. Consequently, two key projects are being developed. One is the reconversion of port infrastructure –that will be obsolete in 10 to 12 years– by creating a new 2-mile-long boardwalk on the northern coastal edge of San Antonio. The second San Antonio project is intended to preserve the natural wetlands located towards the south of the project, were the Maipo river flows in to the sea, one of the most important destinations of migrating birds in Chile, as well as a natural site that will provide San Antonio with a new tourist attraction that may become a new source of income for the local economy and its inhabitants.
The basic design of the project has already been completed and the detailed design for the breakwater and the physical modeling have been hired. The Port Authority is also focusing on performing an Environmental Impact Assessment study to obtain the necessary permits. Work on the breakwater should begin by 2020.


Daniel Roth is a Civil Engineer from the Universidad Católica de Chile and has a Master’s degree in Business Administration, also from the Universidad Católica de Chile.
Throughout his career he has specialized in the development and management of infrastructure projects, participating in the design and construction stages of urban highways, subways, and hydropower projects.
Since 2013, he is Project Director for the San Antonio Outer Port Expansion at the San Antonio Port Authority Project where he has led the teams in charge of the overall design, field studies and financial and logistical analysis. He is also in charge of the interaction with the city authorities for the development of the northern reconversion Project and the Maipo river discharge conservation initiative.