Eduardo Luque
Director General
API Tampico
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View from the Top

The Open Door to Tamaulipas

Thu, 11/01/2018 - 15:24

Q: How is the Tampico port expansion changing the way API operates and plans?
A: The port is going through a considerable expansion project that has boosted our growth over the past 12 months. We had a great year in numerical terms with an overall growth of 24 percent in comparison to the previous year and with 115,000 tons more moved in 1Q18 compared to 1Q17. We experienced a 53 percent increase in our public cargo segment, which increased 630,000 tons in comparison with the previous year. Our private cargo also grew by 10 percent, with an increase of 80,000 tons compared to 2017.  
The port’s main activity is handling steel, which grew by 98 percent last year, from 690,000 tons to 1.4 million tons. We are working under our Port Master Development Program (PMDP), which also states that hydrocarbons should represent a larger share of our operations and this is where we plan on expanding next. We are also analyzing a move into the tourism sector. We are changing our regulations to make them friendlier to concessioners so they can exploit the land they use. We have seven new projects with this in mind.
Q: What advantages does the port of Tampico offer to companies willing to establish operations here?
A: Connectivity is our first and foremost asset. The terminal is connected to a railroad, which saves costs and time and provides us with a direct link to the Bajio region. We also have a great highway network able to accommodate heavy transport and we will be connected with the Tuxpan-Tampico highway that is under construction and should further push trade to this region. We are close to Monterrey, one of the biggest business hubs in the country, and once the new highway is complete, we will be less than five hours from Mexico City. We have a dredging capacity of 32ft. This year, we are projecting an additional investment of MX$100 million.
Q: Which areas require the most investment to make the port more competitive?
A: Maintaining the port in optimal condition is essential to keeping our competitive edge and further investments in connectivity are key to achieving sustainable growth. As hydrocarbons take their hold in Tampico in the years ahead, a growing number of companies will seek to invest here and we need to provide them with the necessary infrastructure to carry out their activities. We also have a second tender for the expansion of our multiple-use terminal in sight, hopefully receiving bids in 2018 to extend this facility. Infrastructure is the key tool for growth. We need to build and expand our existing roads, airports, ports and railways and use them as our basis for growth in the years to come. The Ministry of Communications and Transport has committed over MX$1 billion to this end.
Q: Halfway into your Port Master Development Program, what has been the main impact on the state’s economic development?
A: The Port of Tampico will be central to the future development of the hydrocarbons industry and this was initially envisioned in our PMDP. The Energy Reform is finally taking its toll in the industry and we expect to see concrete results in the coming two years. The southern part of Tamaulipas is fundamental to the state’s development and hence it represents an important part of our growth plans looking ahead. Tampico is the hub for the state’s imports and exports and its door to and from the world. An example of this is the Custom Maritime House of Tampico that has duplicated its revenue since 2015. As such a growth driver, we are transforming the state’s image in the eyes of the country and the world. Our trade, transportation, imports and exports have not been affected by violence in any way. We want the world to see that companies can trade in Tampico, establish operations here and do business with complete confidence.