EconomyFinancialNot everything is trains: The government contemplates greater investments...

Not everything is trains: The government contemplates greater investments to expand 11 ports in 2023

The federal government has proposed a larger bag for investments in the country’s port terminals, which since 2022 are under the administration of the Secretary of the Navy (Semar). Although most of the resources are concentrated in three ports, more precincts have an item for investments than in the fiscal year of this year.

According to the Federal Expenditure Budget Project (PPEF) 2023, sent to the Chamber of Deputies, the Comprehensive Port Administrations (API) of Veracruz, Altamira and Lázaro Cárdenas would concentrate 83% of the resources proposed for physical investments, which for the following fiscal year total 2,395.7 million pesos, 1.8% more than in 2022 in nominal terms.

The winner, for the third consecutive year, is the Port of Veracruz , one of the largest for the movement of agricultural bulk , which would concentrate 47% of the resources for capital investments, with 1,132 million pesos. The budget would go to the first stage of the expansion of the port, which includes the construction of a breakwater, dredging works for the navigation areas, landfills for the terminals and docks for the handling of containers and bulk, works that have been carried out out since a couple of years ago.

The terminal would have 8.5% less resources for investments than in 2022.

The Port of Altamira – which is key for the movement of petrochemical products – would have the second largest allocation for investments next year, with 473.6 million pesos, an increase of 31.9% compared to what was approved for this year. The resources would be used for the first stage of the coastal protection works, which includes the construction of 13 200-meter-long breakwaters, as well as construction dredging that aims to allow the entry of New Panamax ships at 95% of its maximum load.

Other investment projects contemplated for Altamira include electrical substation works and transmission lines, connection and interchange railways and other dredging works.

The Port of Lázaro Cárdenas would be the third in allocation of resources for investments, with a bag of 372.7 million pesos, more than four times higher than what was approved for this year. The largest work for this port, key to the automotive industry , is the construction of a 352-meter-long and 71.5-meter-wide dock, as well as a 24,640-square-meter maneuvering yard and dredging work.

Of the 11 ports that have proposed resources for investments, there would only be cuts in three: Mazatlán –with 12% less resources than in 2022–, Manzanillo –the largest container port in the country, which would have 58% less budget– and Veracruz .

The ports of Topolobampo and Coatzacoalcos will have resources for investment for the first time in a couple of years.

In Topolobampo, resources will be allocated to the conservation and maintenance of the port infrastructure, mainly for preventive and corrective maintenance actions. Meanwhile, in Coatzacoalcos – a key infrastructure for the Interoceanic Corridor project – the second stage of infrastructure development will be carried out in Laguna de Pajaritos, which entails the construction of a 130-meter pier and more than 500,000 cubic meters of dredging.