Mexico to open bids for Port of Veracruz in 2015

Global Business

Mexico’s ambitious infrastructure investment plans for the new year include reopening the bidding process for a high-speed train and expanding the port in Veracruz.

CCTV America’s Franc Contreras reported this story from Veracruz, Mexico. 

Mexico to open bids for Port of Veracruz in 2015

Mexico's ambitious infrastructure investment plans for the new year include reopening the bidding process for a high-speed train and expanding the port in Veracruz.

A two-phase expansion project to quadruple the Veracruz port’s capacity is already underway and will finish in 2030. The port currently moves more than 21 million tons of cargo a year, and nearly 70 percent of that is imports, mainly from the United States.

The Port’s director, Juan Ignacio Fernandez, said that starting in 2015, foreign investors will be allowed to bid on the project estimated to cost close to $5 billion. When completed, the port will be able to dock ships 400 meters long.

“We calculate that in the bidding for the first container terminal we’ll have close to 10 participants. They’ll be global companies that own some of the largest shipping ports in the world, like MSC, Singapore and CCCA,” Fernandez said.

But as Mexico discusses bidding for major infrastructure projects, many recall how the Mexican government abruptly ended a contract with a Chinese consortium to build a high-speed train.

One analyst said the Mexican government must shake off its image of playing favorites when it comes to the bidding process.

“It’s a huge problem that not only this administration has had, there’s the idea that many of the winners of infrastructure projects are pre-determined,” Miguel Angel Toro with CIDAC, a nonprofit that focuses on development, said.

The director of the Port of Veracruz promises that all bids will be made public, as well as the names of the winners once contracts for the expansion are awarded.