Caisse announced it is teaming up with Empresas ICA to invest upwards of $267 million in a joint venture that will initially operate four Mexican toll roads.
In early April Mexico’s transport and communications ministry (SCT) announced that authorities would invest around $3.2 billion in nine port projects in the Gulf states to increase capacity within the region to meet demand from the nation’s booming energy and mining industries.
“It’s necessary to prepare Mexican ports for the current reforms such as in energy,” stated Julio Martínez Hernández, who is president of the Mexican association of port infrastructure, or AMIP. “Port activity grows about 5 percent in commercial cargo and 15 percent in container loading [each year], so the investment is important.”
Ports receiving updates include Matamoros and Altamira, which are being prepared to meet increased demand from the energy industry, and the ports of Veracruz, Coatzacoalcos and Dos Bocas are all being prepared to meet increased demand from the petrochemical industry. Most notably, Altamira is slated to become the first port in Latin America with a deep harbor for oil platforms, while expansion works in Veracruz include a new port with breakwaters, specialized terminals and equipment, a navigation channel and a new storage area. Also in Veracruz at the nearby Tuxpan port, plans are underway to build new docks for containers and general cargo.
Finally, the Seybaplaya port in Campeche state in southern Mexico will add around 400 meters of new dock space to satisfy Pemex, Mexico’s state oil company, while the entire port of Ciudad del Carmen will be modernized and the Yucatan’s Progreso port will be updated and will receive a new logistics platform.
“Last week we reported on more than $14 billion in new infrastructure deals for Mexico,” states Richard Houghton of Investment Properties Mexico. “That, along with this new investment we’re highlighting today, is part of Mexico’s national infrastructure program, which promises to invest at least $515 billion in this important sector by 2018.”
Earlier this week, North American pension fund manager and major institutional investment firm Caisse de dépôt et placement de Québec also announced it is teaming up with Empresas ICA, which is Mexico’s largest construction firm to build and own essential infrastructure assets, investing upwards of $267 million in a joint venture that will initially operate four Mexican toll roads.
Caisse will reportedly take a 49 percent stake in the transaction, which is expected to close during the second quarter of this year, and will also invest in other dedicated transportation projects in Mexico as a result of the venture.
“Empresas, a construction firm that builds and owns infrastructure assets including airports, toll roads, water systems and real estate, will see its ownership shrink to 51 percent but will use the proceeds of the Caisse investment to pay down debt,” writes The Globe and Mail. “The assets include a tunnel in Acapulco, the Mayab Toll Road, the Río Verde to Ciudad Valles Highway and the La Piedad bypass.”