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Vice President of Operations
Roca Ventures
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Dos Bocas’ Premier Private Port Gears Up to Enhance Operations

By Cas Biekmann | Tue, 12/21/2021 - 13:59

Q: How would you describe your most recent developments with Halliburton and other operators?
A: Last year, we completed a successful six-month campaign through our construction and storage contract with Halliburton, through which we also provided services to Shell. Companies such as Mexmar, OTM and OPEX, have been performing well and are great clients. Toward the end of 2020, we worked with Repsol, which operates at an exceptional standard and has obtained excellent results. Roca Port is looking to support more operators, although this market segment is becoming a little saturated.

Q: How has the port positioned itself to address the growing demand coming from increased offshore activity in Mexico?

A: Our main bottleneck in addressing the growing demand had been the dock. We had a platform there that was abandoned in 2016 but were able to move it in April 2021. Currently, the three positions of the dock are open. The 300m associated with the docks have 270m of open space left, meaning that our saturation is only at 30 percent. If you compare that to the 75 percent or higher saturation of public docks at API, this provides an ideal platform since we have solved the bottleneck issue. We also have 6ha free in terms of storage space. At the front of the facility, where we have a further 7ha available, we are looking to build another 600m of docks. We are ready for the growth we expect in 2022 and can meet the needs of the expanding offshore industry for the next five years.

Q: How has the growth of the construction site for the Dos Bocas refinery redefined the kind of traffic that the Dos Bocas port is experiencing?

A: Many operators worry about this development but, fortunately, our dock is privately owned so we prioritize our clients. We do not have the obligation to attend to ships that enter the port via the API to aid the construction. This gives us a better opportunity to cater to the needs of clients in the oil and gas industry. It is evident that the refinery will saturate not just the ports but other local infrastructure as well. The refinery has been well-planned so the project is likely to be a success. Nevertheless, it will leave its mark on the area, although we do not see ourselves strongly affected by this traffic. We can guarantee our clients that our docks are available and are expected to grow another 600m. This gives our port an important competitive edge.

Regarding infrastructure on land, the biggest restricting factors that occurred due to the refinery’s construction have already passed. If you go to Paraiso, there are two routes you can take: the usual highway and a new route, which allows the traffic to split and be divided. The roads and entrances are in good shape now. People are now examining a train project, which could connect two other major projects and help to interconnect the area further. All these factors help to alleviate the pressure on existing infrastructure. After all, the refinery is expected to add tens of thousands of people to Paraiso.

Q: How have the significant administrative changes that are occurring in Mexico’s port infrastructure impacted your operational realities?

A: We have been able to work smoothly with the Dos Bocas API but some of the requirements regarding our operations have changed. To combat huachicol, Halliburton has adapted to the new API´s requirements, which has been the object of scrutiny. This is because the government has enforced enhanced control measures, considered a positive development for the sector. The authentication of administration and the legality of everything that comes through the port has also been much more stringent. We are proactive when it comes to these measures and we see that they make a great deal of sense.

Q: Now that projects such as Hokchi are entering into operation, how has the daily management of the port changed to meet specific needs?

A: Platform supply vessels (PSVs) are the most efficient way to bring equipment, supplies and personnel to a platform to administer an operator’s day-to-day operations. We did see a trend emerge where operators were using smaller PSVs that move more rapidly than their larger counterparts. Because the offshore distances are not that significant, it makes sense to make several quick trips. This has allowed operators to be more agile. We cater to these companies and their PSVs by providing offices, efficient storage and adequate management of dangerous substances, among others. We have also installed Wi-Fi in our terminals and improved the security through cameras and oversight so that several operators can securely work in the same areas. We have invested in expanding and renovating our infrastructure and operations so that we can meet the demand of these operators.

Q: What are the port’s main development objectives for 2022?

A: Our main goals are to make the use of our docks increasingly efficient. We are aware that the docks could eventually become our bottleneck but with 6ha of space available, we are turning it into an advantage. Overall, we see the front of the port as an important growth opportunity. Consolidating our position with the operators that are settling in the area is similarly vital for Roca Port. We believe that 2022 will be a good year for the industry and the Dos Bocas environment in general.

Though the Roca Port is an important part of our portfolio, Roca Ventures as an investment firm is looking for opportunities outside of Dos Bocas too. We have invested in infrastructure-related ventures outside of the oil and gas industry and in other areas of the country to diversify our portfolio.

 

Roca Ventures is an independent industrial and infrastructure-focused private investment firm that conducts buyout, growth and venture capital investments in the midstream, marine logistics, industrial and construction sectors in Mexico.

Cas Biekmann Cas Biekmann Journalist and Industry Analyst