The National Fund for Tourism Promotion is in bankruptcy, but it has in its hands the most ambitious project of the sexennium of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, “El Tren Maya“.
“Today FONATUR is bankrupt,” laments Rogelio Jiménez Pons, the director of Fonatur. “Although the agency is broke, it handles very valuable assets.”
Jimenez Pons said that to build the Maya Train they are thinking in two different types of investment.
He explains that on one hand they count with approximately 150 billion pesos that the government will invest in the rolling stock, the train, and a greater investment is necessary for the stations. For this reason, Fonatur is creating an Infrastructure and Real Estate Trust (Fibra). “The creation of this Trust forces us to make Fonatur’s governance and finances transparent.”
FONATUR has to change its old scheme. We must carry out profitable projects, they know that the rating agencies will observe them and can be financed through the Stock Exchange. “We have a very large financing potential,” Jimenez Pons added
FONATUR will seek money for stations and urban development through these type of Fibras. For the sections of track, the train, pose another model of concession. “The government agrees with the investors to give them a subsidy of 10 percent of the finished tranche. That is, if it costs two thousand, you get 200. ”
FONATUR’s representatives have talked with several financial institutions and there are at least seven groups interested at the national level, and several at the local level. FONATUR is inviting them to invest in this project.
The project will be awarded to eight consortia or holding companies, one for each of the seven sections of the route and one more for the trains. Jimenez Pons, who is an architect, calculates that by 2020 they will already know the result of the tenders of the rolling stock of the Mayan Train, that is, the wagons and the machines that will be purchased. The railway construction will be completed by 2022, according to Jiménez Pons.
In the first quarter of this year, the first two bids will be launched to build the stretches where the tracks already exist and at the end of the year the station bidding will take place. Some terminals, will be delivered by direct award, such as Cancún, which is already in the hands of Asur, headed by Fernando Chico Pardo. And in these days the contract of Mexican hotel magnate Daniel Chavez will most likely be published.
“By the year 2024 the Maya Train will have to be at the full operation,” he said.
“Fonatur is bankrupt and we have detected many irregularities”, Jiménez Pons concluded.
TYT Newsroom with information from elsoldemexico.com.mx