Mexican authorities announced dramatic expansion of the Port of Veracruz in preparation for the trade increase expected from the country’s growing manufacturing base, especially car makers.

The Mexican government, as part of its project to build a new facility next to the existing Gulf of Mexico port, will hear presentations in the coming weeks from bidders looking to build a nearly 1,000-foot long section of quay.

The government is also seeking bids for five new terminals — including one for containers, and others for farm and mineral bulk goods. Mexican authorities say they expect to begin dredging in December, a schedule that should make the first berth ready for operation by the spring of 2018.

Last week, the head of the Mexican Ports and Merchant Marine department, outlined a vision of a “world class logistical center” that would meet the needs of shippers for the next century.

“We at ports have to go forward” and be ready for the maritime demands in the future, Guillermo Ruiz de Teresa, general coordinator of the ports and merchant marine department, said in a press release.

The Veracruz project would increase the volume of cargo handled at the port from 260 million tons to 520 million tons by the end of 2018. The port plans to expand its container capacity from roughly 900,000 to 5 million twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEU) by 2030.

About 80 percent of the US$ 1.7 billion to be spent on the project by 2018 will be paid by private investors, Ruiz de Teresa said. Investments totaling another US$ 1.6 billion will be made by 2024, Mexican authorities say. Businesses are willing to put their money behind the port, Ruiz de Teresa said, because they “believe in policies that are implemented in this country, believe in Mexico, and see a promising future in the ports.”

By the time the expansion is finished, he added, Veracruz — which was first established as a port more than 400 years ago — will be bigger than the Pacific Coast ports of Manzanillo and Lazaro Cardenas combined.

MexicoNow

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