Eduardo Rafael Luque
Director General of
API Tampico
View from the Top

The Door to the World

Sun, 11/04/2018 - 14:48

Q: How is the Port of Tampico's 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. Our PEMEX terminals grew by 1 percent, which might not be an impressive figure but this segment handles around 5 million tons of cargo per year. Moreover, PEMEX’s new vision to turn into a more profitable company will bring this segment’s growth to higher levels in the years ahead. The port’s main activity is handling steel, which grew by 98 percent last year, from 690,000 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. 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: How will the Maintain, Attraction and Recover (MAR) program help attract new companies and relationships?

A: This program was designed to be fully implemented as part of our PMDP, which ends in 2021. Representatives from Petrobras, Schlumberger and PETRONAS are among those who have visited us to evaluate the port’s viability for achieving their purposes in Mexico. This type of attention on the port would not have occurred without the MAR program. We have also received Kansas City Southern within the context of this program. It is willing to work on the rail network to further connect Tampico and the Bajio region.

Q: Halfway into your PMDP, 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 southern part of Tamaulipas is fundamental to the state’s development and hence it represents an important element of our plans. Tampico is the hub for the state’s imports and exports and is the state's door to and from the world.