Through the Government Agreement of November 8, 1979, the Government of the Republic of Guatemala declared the prevailing port situation in the country a national emergency, in the absence of a modern port for the import and export activities of the Pacific Ocean route.
On September 26, 1979 through the Ministry of Communications and Public Works, the Executive Body issued the Agreement for the creation of the Executing Unit of the Port Complex on the Pacific Coast - UNECPA (for its acronym in Spanish) - the unit was designed and attached to the Presidency of the Republic, effective from the third day of October of that year.
The construction of the Port began in 1980 and on March 18, 1983, the Port Services were inaugurated. Said services were given in limited conditions because the port complex was still under construction. The first building stage of the port was finished in November 1985, thus UNECPA's assignment concluded. Puerto Quetzal was inaugurated and Empresa Portuaria Quetzal (Quetzal Port Company) was created to administer the port.