If there is one category of Mexico’s infrastructure that has managed to admirably overcome the obstacles that the COVID-19 crisis has brought, it would arguably have to be the country’s port system. The port of Altamira, in particular, has successfully managed to not only remain open and continue its operations without overlooking safety regulations, but also to continue with its scheduled projects for this year. In June the port celebrated its 35th anniversary with a 121 percent increase in grain traffic during the first four months of 2020. Growth allows Altamira to successfully compete with other nearby ports for private and public investment. General Director of Ports at the General Coordination of Ports & Merchant Marine Fernando Bustamante announced back in May that investments would remain uninterrupted despite the COVID-19 crisis. One of the examples he gave of this at the time was the ongoing expansion of the Veracruz port, one of the oldest GOM ports and an Altamira competitor in some industries. To read our interview with Bustamante, click here.
Another similar project announced in May was the expansion of the Tuxpan port’s storage capabilities, a port very close to Altamira. To not be outpaced by this competitor, Altamira port authorities announced this week an open tender for the use of 20km2 for the construction and operation of a mineral storage terminal. T21 reports that this terminal will be used for materials that include, but are not limited to, non-ferrous metals, ferrous alloys and raw materials. The contract offered would give the winning bidders 20 years of operation over this terminal, plus the possibility of applying for an additional 20-year extension. A base capital of close to US$9 million is required to participate in the tender. The presentation of bids will take place on Nov. 20, while the final decision is scheduled to be revealed on Dec. 1. Given the strategic nature of the Altamira port for the mining-heavy northern and Bajio economic regions, the project creates interesting and necessary synergies for the development of the mining sector, which is also boosted by the port’s rail connectivity through Ferromex and Kansas City Southern’s services. To read our 2018 interview with former API Altamira Director General José Rodríguez, click here.