Private capital will assist in Progreso’s port inprovements.
PROGRESO — The Secretary of Communications and Transport, Gerardo Ruiz Esparza, and Yucatan Governor Rolando Zapata Bello announced Friday June 9 a new scheme that allows private entrepreneurs to invest in infrastructure works at the Port of Progreso.
Both the industrial and tourism sectors of Yucatan have demanded the improvement of the infrastructure conditions at the port, so that it can reach its full import and export cargo potential, as well for the arrival of cruise ships, according to a statement.
According to the scheme, Progreso’s port is the biggest one in the Peninsula, and the only one that counts with the capacity to handle big international cargo ships, which makes it perfect for international trade.
Its importance is historical, from the henequen era to the present, because it is the entry of grains for the food industry of pork and chicken, or to export as happens now with the Yucatecan Brewery.
However, the main limitation of the port is its depth to accommodate the submerged part of a ship in the water.
Currently, the navigation channel stretching 11 kilometers offshore and the maneuvers area in front of the docks have an average depth of 9.80 meters. It only allows the entrance of ships that transport up to 1,500 containers of cargo or up to 30,000 tons of grains for food.
The current state of international commercial navigation requires the use of bigger ships to reduce transportation costs.
To bring larger ships, the so-called post-panamaxes that began to be assembled around the year 2000, the planned modernization project includes an improvement in the port’s depth to allow docking ships that move up to 4,000 containers or up to 80,000 tons of grain.
In 2012, the movement of cargo in the port was 4 million tons and in 2016 concluded with 5.3 million tons, a 32% increase in imports of inputs for the production of pork, chicken and eggs.
Similarly, the movement of containers has grown and between 2012 and 2016 increased by 5%. However, in the first quarter of 2017 already shows an increase of 20%.
The works that boost the competitiveness of the Progreso port, the dredging of the navigation channel, docks and a new terminal will cost approximately $100 million US to $ 150 million US.
The position that the state government had the capacity to operate the new terminal and conduct the infrastructure works is established in Article 7 transitional of the Law of Ports published in 1993.
To make effective the legal power to participate in maritime activity, the state government constituted the Yucatecan Port Enterprise (EPY, by their initials in Spanish).
Customers interested in developing commercial activities will be directly responsible for performing the dredging works and the infrastructure for the distribution of natural gas or hydrocarbons.
The investment of approximately 100 million to 150 million dollars will be assumed by the private investors, based on its own projections of risk and profitability from his business plans.
With an alliance that motivates private investment, the works are assured without the use of public resources present or future, without contracting debt or under Public Partnership-type schemes.
The modernization works also benefits the industrial sector that will have another option for to have a continuous supply of natural gas, a resource that is so necessary for the transformation processes that are already carried out or for the companies that intend to settle in Yucatan and that require as a requisite the obtaining of this energetic.
The electricity production will be more efficient and sustainable, since with the natural gas that will reach the port it will be able to move to a cleaner model.
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