Sunday, December 12, 2010

Punta Colonet Mega-Port to be Bid in Spring 2011, Regardless of Panama Canal Expansion, Says Mexico Secretary of Communications & Transportation; Ferromex/Union Pacific Considering Bidding on Rail Portion

California’s container ports at Long Beach and Los Angeles will be over capacity, even when the Panama Canal expansion Is finished in 2014, says Juan Francisco Molina, Mexican Secretary of Communications & Transportation, and that makes the planned Pacific Coast mega-port at Punta Colonet all the more vital. Speaking on December 9, Molinar not only said that bidding for the mega-port will start in Spring 2011, he also said that the Mexican Government is committed to building the full-scale port it originally announced in 2004 – the 5,000 hectares port facility and city, complete with a power generation plant, a natural gas plant, hotels, industrial and commercial zones, housing, airport, highway and a rail connection to the U.S.  

Two days earlier, on December 7, the head of Mexico’s largest railway, Ferromex director general Lorenzo Reyes Retana, said his company and its U.S. partner Union Pacific are actively re-evaluating the Punta Colonet railroad project, based on the Mexican government’s new commitment to completing the mega-port construction. "We must re-examine the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, how they evolve, if they develop capacity to meet the additional traffic volumes that are expected, and on that basis will announce a new position” on our intent to bid for the railway construction and operation, he said.

Retana noted that Ferromex had expressed interest in participating the project in 2008, when tenders were announced and the government said it was poised to invest 50 billion pesos in the mega-port. Contracts were to be awarded in September 2009, but the global economic crisis caused the entire project to be put on hold.

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