Mexico's Peña Nieto vaunts his infrastructure achievements

By
Monday, September 3, 2018

Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto's sixth and final state of the nation report includes information on the status of the national development plan (PND) 2013-18, including those related to transport infrastructure.

The document, which was sent to the legislature on Saturday, details the progress of those actions included in the PND and the national infrastructure plan (PNI) 2014-18, which had as its stated goal to turn Mexico into a high added value logistics platform.

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HIGHWAYS

According to the report, some 70 presidential commitments in terms of infrastructure were completed from December 2012 – Peña Nieto took office – this June, of which 10 were completed from September 2017 to June.

The commitments required investment of 11.6bn (US$604mn), enabling the construction of 273km of highways, including: Cardel-Poza Rica non-toll highway (1.7bn pesos); modernization of Puebla city's Periférico Ecológico beltway (1.25bn pesos); first stage of construction of the Tuxpan-Tampico toll highway (1.6bn pesos); expansion of the Paseo de la República highway (1.11bn pesos); modernization of the Uruapan-Zamora toll highway (340mn pesos); upgrading of the Tampico-Ciudad Victoria non-toll highway (393mn pesos); construction of the Zitácuaro-Valle de Bravo toll highway (1.78bn pesos); expansion of the Arco Norte toll highway, on the stretch that runs from Jilotepect to Atlacomulco (1.6bn pesos); construction of a 30.8km bypass in Ciudad Obregón (926mn pesos); and Tuxtla Gutiérrez's southern bypass (845mn pesos).

Some 77 of the 80 non-toll federal highway projects included in the PNI have already been completed, and the remaining three are expected to be concluded before December 1 when Peña Nieto leaves office, according to the document.

Since the beginning of his stint, nine highway projects comprising 550km were built or expanded under public-private partnership (PPP) models, representing investment of 21.2bn pesos.

RAILWAYS

From 2013 to 2017, some 113bn pesos were invested in railway infrastructure. Some 78bn pesos of that were public funds, while 35bn pesos were provided by private operators. This year, some 22bn pesos were invested in railway projects, of which 18bn pesos were public funds.

Projects such as the Manzanillo railway tunnel, the rehabilitation of the Chiapas Mayab rail line, and the Matamoros rail bypass were completed during the term of Peña Nieto, as was the construction of a multimodal railway terminal in Matamoros.

As for passenger rail transport, the report highlights the launch of projects such as the Mexico City-Toluca rail line, which has reportedly reached 81%, and the third line of Guadalajara's light rail system, which is 96% complete and expected to begin pre-operation tests in October.

Other projects launched during the current administration include the third line of Monterrey's metro system (92% complete), and the expansions of Mexico City's lines No. 9 (62% complete) and 12 (27% complete).

AIRPORTS

The report presents as an accomplishment the progress on construction of a new international airport for Mexico City, which is currently underway east of the capital.

Projects completed under Peña Nieto's term include the rehabilitation of Ixtepec airport in Oaxaca's isthmus region, as well as the upgraded terminals at the Poza Rica and Chetumal airports in Veracruz and Quintana Roo states, respectively. A military base in Atlangatepec, Tlaxcala, was also upgraded to operate as a mixed-use airport.

PORTS

Overall, Peña Nieto's government has invested 74.5bn pesos in ports, of which 10.1bn pesos were from September last year to this June. Some 5bn pesos of the latter sum came from private investors, while the rest was provided by the government.

Some of the main projects completed include the modernization of Guaymas port, in Sinaloa, the modernization of Seybaplaya port, and the expansion of Progreso port, in Yucatán. In addition, the term saw the completion of a second specialized container terminal and a multi-purpose terminal at Manzanillo port, the construction of two specialized terminals in Lázaro Cárdenas port, and construction of a container and general cargo pier in Tuxpan port, in Veracruz, among others.

Under the project to expand the port of Veracruz – the largest port project launched by this government – contracts were tendered and awarded for the construction of liquid fuels, minerals, bulk and semi-specialized terminals. According to the government, these terminals are currently 66% complete.

PICTURED: President Peña Nieto talking about the report in the presidential palace on Monday.