Mexican Navy to Invest in Dos Bocas Infrastructure
The Mexican Navy (SEMAR) will invest MX$650 million (US$34.31 million) to further develop the military zone in Dos Bocas to protect the Olmeca Refinery and the Campeche Bank. The Dos Bocas Naval Sector was created in 2019. By 2022, SEMAR had invested MX$2.22 billion (US$117 million) to build housing, barracks for an infantry battalion, a naval hospital and other buildings for the workers.
As reported by Forbes, the investment will be used to construct a building, a port protection unit, a meteorological station and infrastructure for an infantry battalion. The government required the development of the military zone to protect the oil industry projects on the Campeche Banks as well as the Dos Bocas refinery. The construction will take place over a period of 18 months, whereas the infrastructure is expected to last 60 years.
With the project, the navy aims to protect the zone from risks stemming from the industrial activities carried out in Dos Bocas. According to the Ministry of the Navy, it employs video surveillance systems to secure the area in collaboration with the Fifth and Seventh Naval Zones. Logistical support is also provided to units under its command. “The construction of the refinery in Paraíso, Tabasco constitutes a challenge to the national security of the country, therefore it requires a high concept of security,” stated SEMAR.
Moreover, the costs of the Olmeca Refinery keep piling up while it has not gone online. In 2019, the government declared that it would invest US$8 billion in Dos Bocas but in 2022 Rocío Nahle, the Minister of Energy, reported that the actual cost would be US$9.8 billion. Bloomberg News later reported that according to the contracts, the real cost amounted to US$14 billion. According to various experts, this number could reach up to US$18 billion.
The government promised refining in Dos Bocas will start on July 1, 2023. Nahle had previously delayed the launch of operations at Dos Bocas to December 2022. President López Obrador said that the refinery will operate at half capacity by 3H23 and at full capacity by December 2023. Furthermore, Nahle reported that the equipment testing period at Dos Bocas has begun.