The Maya Train is expected to mobilize all fuel in Southeast Mexico by the beginning of 2023, a market with a value of up to 13 billion pesos per year.The financial viability of the Maya Train, probably the most important infrastructure project of the AMLO´s administration, is focused on passenger and freight transportation in southeastern Mexico, but it will only move 0.6 percent of the cargo that is transported nationwide each year. “82 percent of the total cargo transported by Mexico is concentrated in two companies: Ferromex and Kansas City Southern of Mexico, which are basically the Pacific Railway lines. “The cargo line that the Maya Train wants to build represents 0.6 percent of the goods that are moved in Mexico,” said Ana Thaís, a researcher at the Mexican Institute of Competitiveness (IMCO). This contrasts with the railroad’s financial plan in the southeast of 1,470 kilometers, which hopes to find in freight transportation the necessary funds to pay for the project in which 144.5 billion pesos will be invested. In recent days, the head of the National Tourism Development Fund ( Fonatur), Rogelio Jiménez Pons, explained that the economic profitability of the railway will come from the movement of cargo and energy freight, one of the main bets of the Government to capitalize on the infrastructure project. Therefore, the Maya Train is expected to mobilize all fuel in the southeast region of Mexico at the beginning of 2023, a market with a value of up to 13 billion pesos annually. The movement of goods by rail is 30 percent cheaper than land transport, in addition to being 100 times less polluting than road transport.
The problem is that, according to the official plan, the transfer of merchandise from the Maya Train will be used to pay the 144.5 billion pesos that the project will cost.
Foreign funds and banks seek to finance the Maya TrainThe most important infrastructure project of the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador has aroused the interest of six foreign funds and banks, who are already negotiating with the Federal Government the financing of the project, which amounts to between 120 and 150 billion pesos. Among those interested in investing are two US investment funds, two Mexican-Spanish companies, a Canadian firm, and some European banks, according to Rogelio Jiménez Pons, head of Fonatur.
“We are talking about heavyweights, the major leagues of financial organizations, world banks, development banks like CAF, we are in negotiations with some of these institutions already.”