HAVANA – Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht will carry out the $207 million expansion of the international terminal at Havana’s Jose Marti Airport, Cuba’s official media said Monday.
Work will begin this month at Terminal 3 to “make more efficient the services provided to roughly 2,000 passengers going through the facility at rush hour,” Odebrecht executive Fabio Goebel said in comments published by online magazine Cubacontemporanea.
The airport renovation is Odebrecht’s third major project in Cuba.
In January 2014, the firm began work on a new mega-port at Mariel, 45 kilometers (28 miles) west of Havana, representing a total projected investment of $957 million, half of it financed by Brazil’s National Development Bank.
An Odebrecht subsidiary signed in 2013 a 13-year contract with Cuban state sugar corporation Azcuba to manage and modernize a sugar mill in Cienfuegos province.
Odebrecht trained more than 3,000 Cubans for jobs on the Mariel initiative and plans to follow a similar approach with the airport project, generating employment on the island.
More than 3 million foreign tourists visited Cuba last year, a new record, and some analysts say the number could double if the diplomatic thaw between Washington and Havana ends restrictions on U.S. residents’ travel to the island.
Cuba needs around $2.5 billion in foreign investment to complete reforms aimed at “updating” its socialist economic model.
Odebrecht, with operations in 21 countries, had gross revenues of roughly 97 billion reais ($42 billion) in 2014.