Expansion Into Southern Ports Follows Industry SuccessBy Pedro Alcalá | Thu, 02/17/2022 - 14:30
Q: How has ROVESA redistributed its presence between Mexico’s northern and southern GOM ports?
OR: Our expansion from the northern ports into the southern ports is a direct response to our market penetration in the oil and gas sector. Our experience in the international logistics sector as shipping agents is extensive and has been an important bedrock on which to base our expansion strategy toward higher degrees of oil and gas activity. We have developed door-to-door logistics services for Mexican importers and exporters. Despite the considerable amount of oil and gas activities that northern ports host, they are primarily dedicated to commercial trade. However, our experience and skill set in dealing with port authorities and administration services are significantly transferable to the requirements of the oil and gas industry. Our services are aimed at hydrocarbon clients. Many of our current oil and gas clients in the south sporadically contracted our services in the north before our expansion, so they had an idea of the quality services we provide. We had been servicing the ports of Ciudad del Carmen and Seibaplaya from the hub we established in Dos Bocas before 2021. This year, we established an additional base of operations in Ciudad del Carmen, which is a positive development for our ongoing expansion.
Q: What has been your experience in regard to the oil and gas landscape at the port of Altamira?
ER: Despite some negative developments at the production yards at Altamira, the impact is less noticeable than one would think. We have had a long-standing commercial relationship with all the manufacturers at Altamira and these developments have not resulted in negative fluctuations in that commercial relationship, including with yards that have experienced a negative impact from this changing landscape. These developments have to be understood in terms of the market’s cyclical nature, especially with large offshore construction projects. The changing size of these yards’ workforces will respond to the development needs of offshore infrastructure.
Our client portfolio in Altamira continues to be rock solid and we expect the launching of new projects in 2022 that will reinvigorate whatever has lagged behind. We are confident in the port’s future, but we are waiting to see additional infrastructure and connectivity developments in these northern ports. The Perdido deepwater projects will have significant field infrastructure development requirements going forward. Many of the companies expected to be involved are companies that we have worked with before, so in that sense, we are well positioned. We have also participated in deepwater exploration activities and geotechnical studies, including seismic acquisition and exploratory drilling, so we are familiar with the fields and the service providers in question. The fact that we are expanding our activities in the south means we wish we could have more prospective activities in the north. Nevertheless, we remain hopeful that demand from operators will increase sooner rather than later. We also consider the growth that smaller northern ports like Matamoros will experience when deepwater projects ramp up, exposing their need to develop export capabilities, dredge deeper berths and build extensive liquid management infrastructure. This is especially true for Matamoros due to its border port status.
Q: How have your operations in the Dos Bocas port evolved?
ER: Our progression has been very positive. Through our partnerships with other major private players such as Roca Ventures, we have created productive synergies that have allowed us to expand our service offering and optimize the deployment of our port agency and logistics services. These partnerships have helped us manage the port’s saturation. We have more harbor and yard space available to us, which is needed in case of an emergency. We are working with many clients, bringing in special load projects with specialized heavy machinery for the Dos Bocas refinery. This activity is slated to increase in 2022. The importance of Dos Bocas in our portfolio will increase significantly.
Additionally, offshore operators are looking for ways to establish a logistical base in Dos Bocas, and we can provide that service as well. The market for these services will increase because the cost of establishing an independent base is usually excessive and not justified for these operators. The demand for a contractor like us will increase. These operators have protocols that call for the establishment of satellite port bases in the event of port shutdowns or excessive saturation, and we have the space and the capacity to offer that service. These capabilities have been enhanced by our recent Ciudad del Carmen office. Many Dos Bocas operations do not happen at Dos Bocas. They happen within this offloading and administrative network of ports that include Ciudad del Carmen and Coatzacoalcos. Our relationship and channels of communication with the Dos Bocas port authorities have been excellent so far; these include APIs, customs and immigration. This relationship keeps us informed and allows us to anticipate any issues that may arise in the port’s day-to-day operations.
Agencia Rojas Vela y Asociados (ROVESA) was founded in 1991 as a Mexican shipping agency based in the port of Tampico. Since then, it has expanded into an integrated maritime and port services provider and logistics consultancy, with a division dedicated exclusively to servicing the offshore sector.