Thursday, December 13, 2007

Port project at Punta Colonet in northern Mexico to be auctioned in early 2008

Mexico to auction road, port, airport contracts

Dec 13, 2007

Copyright 2007

MEXICO CITY- Mexico will auction off three packages of roads in 2008 alongside contracts for a major port and an airport to serve the booming Riviera Maya beach resort area, the government said on Thursday.

Communication and Transport Minister Luis Tellez also said that his ministry, a priority in the government of President Felipe Calderon, will have 40 billion pesos ($3.69 billion) to spend on constructing and modernizing roads next year.

"It is the biggest ever budget (for the sector)," Tellez told a news conference.

Calderon's government has an ambitious plan to build and upgrade more than 17,000 kilometers (10,500 miles) by the end of his six-year term. Tellez said 3,100 kilometers (1,920 miles) were built and improved this year.

Tellez gave no details about the three packages of roads the government plans to auction off next year. It sold off one toll road package in 2007, raising $4.1 billion.

The planned auction of a port project at Punta Colonet in northern Mexico will take place "at the latest in March", Tellez said.

The port will handle 5 million containers per year and is aimed at handling U.S. bound goods from Asia as an alternative to the cities of Long Beach and Los Angeles, whose ports are being used at capacity, Tellez said.

An auction for a new airport serving the Riviera Maya, a beach vacation area south of the Caribbean resort of Cancun, will take place in the first half of 2008, Tellez said. ($1 = 10.8295 pesos)

(Reporting by Tomas Sarmiento; Editing by Diane Craft)

© 2007 Reuters:

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