José Rodríguez
Director General
API Altamira
View from the Top

Hydrocarbons Lead the Future for Gulf's Major Port

Sun, 11/04/2018 - 14:35

Q: The port of Altamira began 2018 with the best performance of all ports. What factors accounted for this success?

A: Last year we had an average growth rate of 23 percent on our total cargo, including our two main business lines of automotive and steel, which involves rolls, plates and tubes. This growth was partially due to the natural gas marine pipeline coming from Southern Texas to Tuxpan because logistics were carried out at Altamira and we were right in the middle of the full development process. Our inherent assets are our biggest strength as we have top-of-the-line technology, highly-skilled labor, the latest equipment, a land extension that fits any project and an entire production chain, from producers to customs, working according to unified rules and principles. We strive to provide the highest quality possible and we have a deep understanding of the industry, keeping deliveries on time and minding our clients’ demands. Finally, we also made the most of the Energy Reform and the first round of benefits it brought to the oil and gas industry.

Q: Given that Altamira is the undisputed hub for trade in Tamaulipas, which assets in particular offer advantages?

A: We have a privileged location as we stand right in front of the new drilling sites off the coast of Tamaulipas and we are also close to the US. Additionally, we have unbeatable services in terms of quality. We have the largest dock location in Tamaulipas with 9,500ha entirely dedicated to port activities and trade. We also have extensive territorial reserves and strict environmental policies to protect and preserve native species.

Q: API Altamira has been at the center of federal investment plans. How has the port channeled these investments?

A: We have an extensive public investment agenda that includes widening sailing canals, dredging and installing new electric substations. We try to foresee any potential need our customers might have so we can place the right investments in a timely fashion to save them from future inconveniences. 

Part of the current investment plan involved widening the breakwaters and improving the port’s safety. We also provided maintenance to buildings, customs offices and sites to keep them updated. We recently signed an agreement with the Port Coordinator for the expansion of two terminals, as part of its plan to double the capacity of every single port in Mexico, with Altamira being the only port that will actually triple its capacity. Each of these two terminals will expand their berths, providing them with new dynamism, new positions and better equipment. The current administration has been crucial in the port’s development and we have grown to unprecedented levels. We have already signed six more water fronts that will unfold in the following months. 

Q: What impact will the new hydrocarbons terminal have on the port’s activities?

A: This is probably the most significant project being developed at the moment. The minister of energy and the governor of Tamaulipas came to Altamira to lay the first stone of what will become our very first hydrocarbons terminal to further complete the development of an industry that is booming in the state. The projected investment surpasses US$200 million. Altamira has been a key player in the application of the Energy Reform due to its size, relevance and the shipments moved from here. Now we plan to build upon the large reservoirs standing at the port’s gates. This new hydrocarbons terminal has already attracted companies such as Avant Energy, whose operations will handle 1.8 million barrels. Windarmex also has chosen Altamira as the site for its wind towers. 

Q: What are API’s plans for 2018 and what direction will the port take?

A: We expect 2018 to be as good as 2017 and maybe even better. The Energy Reform is now in full motion and it is prompting things to accelerate. We have projects in the pipeline, such as the new terminals, new concessions and a green light to expand the port. With the first hydrocarbons terminal on the go, we expect to have a second one in the future. The port currently has 17 berths, although it was originally planned for 90, and we are going to close this federal administration with 25 percent growth.