APM Terminals, the ports division of Danish shipping conglomerate A.P. Moller-Maersk, has expressed its intention to take part in a tender for the announced expansion of Port of Veracruz in southeastern Mexico, Reuters reports citing a company statement from Tuesday.
During a visit to Mexico, Maersk Group’s CEO Nils S. Andersen, in an interview with local news media, confirmed the group’s interest in increasing their operations in Mexico in the transport and port segment.
This is in particular important as it would enable the group to combine their operations in Mexico through a logistics corridor between the Pacific and Atlantic, as the company is currently building the first automated container terminal in the Michoacan port of Lazaro Cardenas, which is set to start business operation in 2016.
The Veracruz port expansion is expected to include addition of up to five new terminals and attract investments worth around USD 1.35 billion, according to an announcement from Mexico’s government.
The tender for construction and operation of three terminals is expected to be published by the end of the year.
The development of the Port of Veracruz consists of two construction stages; the first (2014-2018), which started on November 24, 2014, involves the construction of a 4.2-kilometer western breakwater; 2.8 kilometers of construction along the wharf where the first container terminal will be located, accommodating four berths and is slated to begin operations in 2018. In total, the first stage will bring berth capacity to eight positions.
A satellite terminal with five positions is planned be built to handle bulk cargo. It will have a main dock with a diameter of 800 meters and a 600-meter secondary dock for maneuvering vessels and a depth of eighteen meters, based on Mexico’s transportation ministry’s plans.
The second stage (2019-2030) includes the construction of the eastern breakwater, with a length of 3.5 kilometers, and the remaining vehicle, general cargo, and liquids terminals and will increase the port’s capacity to 118 million metric tons.
The Port of Veracruz is an area of strategic importance for the country’s foreign trade being the main entrance to the Gulf of Mexico.
In addition, as the Panama Canal expansion plans approaches its completion, bigger ships will need to be handled in the port.
At the moment the port moves 30% of Mexico’s maritime cargo.