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  • Results roundup: LinkedIn, Amdocs, Equinix

    Professional social network LinkedIn posted US$40mn in revenues in its Americas region, excluding the US, for 2Q15, up from US$35.5mn in the same period of 2014, the company reported in a release. Globally, the platform saw revenues rise 33% year-on-year to US$712mn. This was an increase of 38% on a constant currency basis. However, LinkedIn posted a heavy net loss of US$67.5mn, compared to a loss of under US$1mn in 2Q14, which the company attributed to rising tax costs, mainly related to the acquisition of lynda.com. *** US customer management solutions provider Amdocs posted Rest of World (RoW) revenue, which includes Latin America, of US$182.5mn for its third fiscal quarter, ended June 30. That was an increase from the US$141mn seen in the same three months of last year. Globally, net revenue totaled US$908mn, up 0.6% year-on-year. Net income on a non-GAAP basis was US$131.2mn or US$0.84 per diluted share, compared to non-GAAP net income of US$130.9 million, or US$0.81 per diluted share, in the third quarter of FY2014. *** US data center company Equinix made revenues of US$666mn in Q2, up 10% year-on-year. Recurring revenues, consisting primarily of colocation, interconnection and managed services, reached US$627mn, up 9%. In Q1, Equinix announced the construction of five new data centers in New York, Singapore, Melbourne, London and Toronto, giving it 100 such centers worldwide. In Latin America, Equinix has major operations, particularly in the Southern Cone. In Brazil, its largest local market, the company completed the full incorporation of its local subsidiary Alog Data Centers in March and announced the extinction of the Alog brand.$header

  • TREND: The many woes of Costa Rica's ICE

    In a telecom landscape that is constantly changing, keeping up with what makes the market tick could be a full-time job for an operator - even if it still retains most of its subscribers. Such is the case with Costa Rica's state-owned mobile provider ICE, once a monopoly and still the country's market leader. Despite holding 61% of users, according to telecom regulator Sutel's latest figures, ICE has been the object of much scrutiny in the past few months. How is ICE faring whilst faced with fines, rumors of bankruptcy and new market competitors? Bumping heads with Sutel: fines & tariffs ICE has had a few disagreements with Sutel in the last few months. The regulator fined ICE in June for anti-competitive measures taken by the operator between 2011 and 2012. ICE will have to pay 0.58% of its revenues for 2010, the year immediately before the anti-competitive practice was carried out. ICE responded by denying the implications, but the fine remains in place. The telco has also protested that Sutel's cap on tariffs is preventing the company from meeting its financial needs. Sutel announced in May that it would start a process to eliminate regulation of tariffs. The watchdog plans to start an investigation into the market to see whether there is real competition and, if that is found to be the case, will let the operators set their own fees. ICE, along with competitors América Móvil's regional operator Claro and Telefónica's local brand Movistar, urged Sutel to speed up this process. New players come in: the market threat of MVNOs Despite its monopoly being long gone (Costa Rica liberated the market in 2009), ICE still holds a strong grip on the Costa Rican market, with 61% of users at the end of 2014. The operator's market remained stable between 2013 and 2014, despite Claro and Movistar seeing their market shares change from 18% to 16%, and from 18% to 20%, respectively. However, recently-arrived players could potentially become a threat. Mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) are taking Latin America by storm, and Costa Rica is no exception. MVNOs FullMóvil and TuyoMóvil had 1% and 2% shares of the market. respectively, up from a negligible participation the year before, and it is likely that they will continue growing. Warning signs: Racsa Rumors have been spreading about ICE's financial situation not being as stable as it was cracked up to be. Broadband provider Racsa, part of the ICE group, has been ringing alarm bells with talk of bankruptcy. A financial study on Racsa was presented to Costa Rica's public revenues and spending committee in a private meeting to discuss what measures to take. ICE president Carlos Obregón insisted that the study was outdated and did not take into account measures put into place after March 2014, and he assured that Racsa was not in an unsustainable situation. Obregón asked the government to make a decision before the end of July. New offers: 4G LTE, VoIP ICE has been upgrading its services in the last few weeks, announcing that it would transfer its customers from 3G to 4G LTE free of cost. All three operators in Costa Rica have deployed 4G for their customers, though ICE is the first to offer free upgrades to its customers. Whether these measures will help ICE keep its crown as Costa Rica's leading telecom, though, remains to be seen.$header

  • Mozilla CEO blasts Windows 10 in open letter to Microsoft

    Not everything is warm and fuzzy when it comes to Windows 10. Chris Beard, CEO of the non-profit, open-internet advocate Mozilla foundation, has lambasted Windows 10's "lack of freedom" in a public letter to Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella. Beard was particularly critical of Microsoft's embedding of the new Microsoft Edge browser in its latest Windows version, which seeks to gradually replace the aging Internet Explorer. Mozilla develops rival browser Firefox. Edge is the default browser on Windows 10, and while the option to customize a different browser remains, Mozilla believes that this process has purposely been made substantially more difficult by Microsoft. "The update experience appears to have been designed to throw away the choice your customers have made about the internet experience they want, and replace it with the internet experience Microsoft wants them to have," Beard wrote to Nadella. To Mozilla, Windows 10 "strips users of their choice by effectively overriding existing user preferences for the web browser and other apps." Beard claims Windows 10 takes more than twice the number of clicks, more scrolling and "some technical sophistication" for users to be able to restore their preferences from previous Windows versions. He adds, though, that it is still possible to change Windows 10's APIs to make this process more intuitive. The executive said that the Mozilla team reached out to Microsoft to discuss the matter, but had no success. "We strongly urge you to reconsider your business tactic here and again respect people's right to choice and control of their online experience by making it easier, more obvious and intuitive for people to maintain the choices they have already made through the upgrade experience." Microsoft did not immediately comment on the issue. FIREFOX OS IN LATIN AMERICA In recent times, Mozilla has moved away from a browser-only strategy with the creation of a Firefox open-source, HTML5-based OS, targeting mainly mobile phones. The bet was to offer an alternative to iOS and Android. While Firefox OS is yet to become gain widespread acceptance, it has had substantial impetus in Latin America, principally due to Telefónica, one of the major global backers of the standard. Firefox OS is currently available in Telefónica's markets in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Uruguay and Venezuela, and is due for launch in Ecuador this year. In March, Mozilla announced a new version of Firefox OS, to be available in 2016, by which time the operating system will be present in 40 markets through 17 smartphone models.$header

  • Intel: Chile 2in1 market to grow 23% in 2015 despite dollar impact

    Despite upward pressure on the price of consumer electronics due to the strong dollar, Intel Chile expects 23% growth in the 2in1 hybrid laptop market this year, with a major push in new products and helped by the launch of Microsoft's Windows 10 OS. Intel Chile's consumer retail manager Elizabeth Moncada told BNamericas that the average price of consumer computers have risen 10% this year due to currency pressures. The Chilean peso was trading at a high of 673.999 pesos against the dollar on July 31, 2015 compared to the 570.900 pesos that the rate closed at on July 31 last year, 18% weaker. That said, the real price of PCs and particularly the new genre of convertible laptop/tablet hybrids has been coming down over the last year as more vendors bring out new models, Moncada said. Chile will see the introduction of 20 new 2in1 models from different brands this year with the Acer Aspire SW3, for example, starting from as little as 219,000 pesos (US$325). This 2in1 has a 10.1 inch multi-touch, detachable screen that becomes a tablet. With 2GB of RAM and 32GB of external memory capacity, the device is aimed at schoolchildren. According to Moncada, a 2in1 of this level cost closer to 300,000 pesos last year. Acer's 2in1 SW3 model is aimed at children and costs US$325 (Credit: Acer) Caption RENOVATION YEAR According to Moncada, 2015 is likely to be a year when many Chileans decide to upgrade their computers due to the increasing pressures on processing power and video capacity from rapidly evolving broadband content. Intel estimates that some 2mn PCs sold in Chile between 2009 and 2011 are still in use and ought to be replaced. "These devices ought to be renewed because after four years technology starts to suffer from lower performance and higher maintenance costs," said Georgina Adobatto, Intel Chile retail manager. According to the executive, the historic PC renewal lifecycle has shorted from four years to three years. Intel is optimistic for 2015 given the 232% increase in sales of 2in1s in the Chilean market in 1Q15 versus 1Q14. An Intel survey showed that 90% of consumers interviewed expressed their intention of buying a new PC in the second half and 70% of those people want a portable device. The estimate is that total PC sales in Chile will reach 1.5mn in 2015 of which 1mn will be consumer PCs. While the overall number is similar to last year, Moncada expects 20% of consumer PCs to be 2in1s. HP's Spectre shows the different form factors of 2in1s (Credit HP)Caption WINDOWS 10 Leading IT consultancies IDC and Gartner said in July that worldwide PC shipments were down 11.8% and 9.5% respectively in 2Q15 compared to 2Q14 as many consumers upgraded last year due to the end of support of Windows XP, while others were waiting for the launch of Windows 10 on July 29. Consulted about the impact of Windows 10, Moncada welcomed the launch saying that given that the new OS includes many new functionalities, including heightened security and greater integration of the traditional desktop and touch screen interfaces, this would only help drive sales of 2in1s.$header

  • Brazil's insurance premiums up 4.6% in H1

    Total premiums increased 4.6% year-on-year in Brazil's insurance sector in 1H15 to 47.5bn reais (US$14bn). June was the best month so far this year for insurers, with a total of 8.5bn reais in premiums, 7.6% more than in May and 9.3% above June 2014, according to local insurance regulator Susep, as cited by media outlet Sonhoseguro. However, according to Susep some important segments saw slower growth in H1, such as property insurance which decreased 2% year-on-year to 6bn reais. Transport insurance premiums grew a timid 3.1% On the other hand, engineering insurance and life insurance were some of the top performers in H1 with 8.5% and 12.5% growth in premiums. Personal insurance, even in a context of growing unemployment and falling salaries, also posted surprisingly high 9.4% growth.$header

  • Venezuela's Mercantil steams ahead in Q2

    Mercantil Servicios Financieros in Venezuela reported a big jump in lending and insurance growth in the second quarter. Net loans rose 60.3% and insurance premiums (net of claims) were up 110% compared with 2Q14, the financial services group said in a results report. Local bank Mercantil Banco Universal and insurer Mercantil Seguros are the main subsidiaries of the group. Net income increased 56.6% year-on-year and ROE for the second quarter was 38.4%. Financial institutions and other companies operate in a challenging environment in Venezuela, where annual inflation grew to 68.5% last year from 56% in 2013.$header

  • SulAmérica's 'amazingly low' loss ratio spurs 130% profit growth

    Brazilian insurer SulAmérica reported a 130% year-on-year rise in net income to 124mn reais (US$36.3mn) in the second quarter of 2015, aided by an "amazingly low" loss ratio, in the words of Credit Suisse. SulAmérica's loss ratio for the quarter was 75.6%, while profits were "astonishingly higher" than that expected by the market, according to a note by Credit Suisse. Profits expanded on the back of operational improvements within key business units, a strong investment performance and good cost management, said SulAmérica in its latest earnings release. Premiums increased 13.2% to 3.75bn reais on the back of a 14.1% expansion in health and dental premiums, to 2.59bn reais. Auto insurance premiums were up 14.6%, while the life and personal accident segment expanded 3.4%, and 'other P&C' premiums fell 3.2%. Meanwhile, investment income was up 15.8% to 191mn reais, benefiting from a higher interest rate and inflationary environment in Brazil. Other revenues, including pensions, administrative services, asset management and savings bonds, were down 39.9% to 527mn reais, said SulAmérica. This was mainly due to a 66.0% decline in savings bond income related to the suspension of one of SulAmérica's three main savings bond products, following the launch of an investigation into possible misconduct by an independent third-party distributor in November. The group's combined ratio improved 3.3 percentage points to 99.8% in Q2, the best second quarter ratio since 2009, said the group. "Since 2Qs are usually the weakest quarter in the year, earnings momentum should be sustained in the upcoming quarters," said Credit Suisse. Meanwhile, rating agency Fitch said in July that the insurer's focus on profitability and claims management over market share was positive for future earnings generation. SulAmérica was Brazil's third biggest healthcare provider in 2014 with insurance premiums of 9.5bn reais.$header

  • Chile surprises with June retail, manufacturing uptick

    Chilean retail sales and manufacturing output for June beat expectations. Retail sales grew 4.1% year-on-year, exceeding by a wide margin the consensus forecast of 2.7%, and May's 3.1%. Manufacturing expanded 1.7% compared with a forecast contraction of 1.9%, Goldman Sachs said. Markets must now wait until August 5 to see whether the central bank's monthly indicator of economic activity, the Imacec, supports the June data, to confirm an upward trend. Analysts such as Goldman Sachs consider unlikely a quick rebound of private spending and investment given still depressed levels of business and consumer confidence. To complicate matters in the Chilean economy, the peso fell in value by close to 11% compared to the dollar over 1H15, increasing inflationary pressure. In June, annual inflation reached 4.4%, the highest in several years. The price of copper, Chile's main export, has fallen around 18% year to date, weighing on GDP growth expectations.$header

  • Colombia's Éxito poised to be largest retailer in LatAm

    Colombian retailer Almacenes Éxito is preparing an investment of approximately US$1.8bn in Brazil's Pão de Azucar and Argentina's Libertad. Éxito would control 18.8% of the total share capital of Grupo Pão de Azucar GPA, Brazil's largest retailer with annual sales of US25bn and would position the Colombian firm as the biggest retailer in Latin America, according to local paper El Tiempo. Additionally, Éxito announced a US$270mn investment in Libertad, one of Argentina's largest retailers with a 14.1% market share. The transactions are part of the reorganization by France´s Casino, controller of Pão de Azucar and Libertad as well as Éxito, of its business in Latin America. After the reorganization, Casino will control 50% of GPA's voting shares through its investment firm Segisor and another 50% through Éxito. Citibank is providing a US$400mn loan for the transactions, while Colombian banks Bancolombia, Aval and Davivienda, will provide 1.5tn pesos (US$524mn), according to the report. Casino also has stakes in Brazil's Disco and Uruguay's Devoto.$header

  • Mexico's SCT must deliver 80,000 digital TVs a day to meet switch-off deadline

    Mexico's communications ministry (SCT) needs to speed up the distribution of TV sets and decoders to around 80,000 sets a day in order to meet the analog switch-off deadline. Javier Lizárraga, coordinator of the information and knowledge society at the SCT, said in a release on the ministry website that in previous stages of the project the ministry delivered up to 60,000 pieces of equipment a day. "The challenge is the following stage, which we will begin in August. We intend to increase deliveries to 80,000 devices a day," he said, adding that the ministry plans to extend the hours of customer service and make deliveries more efficient. According to Lizárraga, 4.3mn TV sets and decoders have already been distributed in 730 cities so far. Communications undersecretary Mónica Aspe said that so far the cities that have turned off the analog signal had carried it out without problems. "The digital TV program is a local issue, announced and carried out together with the population. There have been no surprises," she said. The regulations require that a region must have a 90% digital TV penetration rate in order to switch off the analog signal. So far several cities in the northern states of the country, including Tijuana, Nuevo Laredo and Reinosa have turned off analog. The digital TV transition has suffered various delays in Mexico since it started in 2013, despite the government's assurance that the switch-off will be completed in time. The digital switchover was supposed to have taken full effect in the northern states last December, but it was not until January that the first state, Tamaulipas, effectively changed its signal over. Senator Gerardo Flores said that given the speed at which the transition has been carried out, fulfilling the deadline looks difficult.$header

  • 10 firms line up for Asunción roadworks

    Some six consortiums and four firms have placed bids for the construction of the second phase of the Costanera Norte road project in Paraguayan capital Asunción, the public works and communications ministry reported. The tender for the second phase was first launched in late 2012 and drew five expressions of interests, although financing issues ultimately led to the process being cancelled. The project is now to be financed by Mercosur's structural convergence fund Focem. Consorcio D-R Costanera, made up of the local subsidiary of Benito Roggio e Hijos and Paraguayan firm CDD Construcciones, presented the lowest offer. Others bidding included Spain's OHL, Argentina's Iecsa and Jose Cartellone, Paraguayan firm Ocho A and Empresa Constructora Brasil. Paraguay is in the final stages of getting its first public-private partnerships off the ground.$header

  • Dassault Systems launches innovation center in Aguascalientes, Mexico

    French software developer Dassault Systems has partnered with the Universidad Tecnológica de Aguascalientes in Mexico to launch an innovation center at the university, supported by the French ministry of education, the firm said in a statement. The center will work on skill development, needed to use the 3DExperience platform by Dassault, creating a new generation of engineers and technicians. The center will have countrywide operations, serving any higher education institution. Mexico is the second country in Latin America to welcome an innovation center after Brazil. Dassault also has centers in China, India and Vietnam. Dassault posted revenues of 716mn euros (US$788mn) for 2Q15, a 29% year-on-year increase. The Americas, including Latin America, contributed 220mn euros, up 15% from last year. Software made up the bulk of revenues, growing 27% from last year and netting 628mn euros. Services brought in 87.9mn euros, a 44% increase compared to 2Q14.$header

  • 10 firms line up for Asunción roadworks

    Some six consortiums and four firms have placed bids for the construction of the second phase of the Costanera Norte road project in Paraguayan capital Asunción, the public works and communications ministry reported. The tender for the second phase was first launched in late 2012 and drew five expressions of interests, although financing issues ultimately led to the process being cancelled. The project is now to be financed by Mercosur's structural convergence fund Focem. Consorcio D-R Costanera, made up of the local subsidiary of Benito Roggio e Hijos and Paraguayan firm CDD Construcciones, presented the lowest offer of 362mn guaraníes (US$71mn). Others bidding included Spain's OHL, Argentina's Iecsa and Jose Cartellone, Paraguayan firm Ocho A and Empresa Constructora Brasil. Paraguay is in the final stages of getting its first public-private partnerships off the ground.$header

  • Insurers form Dominican agri-insurance alliance

    Three insurers in the Dominican Republic have joined forces to boost the offering of agriculture insurance in the Caribbean nation. The state-controlled and agriculture-focused insurer Agrodosa has signed an agreement with the local unit of Spanish insurance giant Mapfre and Seguros Banreservas, local news website El Caribe reported. Under the agreement, Mapfre BHD and Seguros Banreserva will sell agriculture insurance policies with the support of Agrodosa - which will offer underwriting and claims expertise. Reinsurance will be provided by Swiss Re, according to the report. Agrodosa is the vehicle with which the government provides subsidies for agriculture and livestock insurance and it counts on reinsurance support from Swiss Re and Hannover Re.$header

  • Venezuela's Mercantil steams ahead in Q2

    Mercantil Servicios Financieros in Venezuela reported a big jump in lending and insurance growth in the second quarter. Net loans rose 60.3% and insurance premiums (net of claims) were up 110% compared with 2Q14, the financial services group said in a results report. Local bank Mercantil Banco Universal and insurer Mercantil Seguros are the main subsidiaries of the group. Net income increased 56.6% year-on-year and ROE for the second quarter was 38.4%. Financial institutions and other companies operate in a challenging environment in Venezuela, where annual inflation grew to 68.5% last year from 56% in 2013.$header

  • SNAPSHOT: Brazil's top 5 solid waste-producing states

    The Brazilian region with the highest per capita solid waste producing in 2014 was the federal district, followed by São Paulo state, according to the results of a study conducted by the country's special waste handling and sanitation association, Abrelpe. While each of the federal district's 2.85mn people generated an average 1.55kg/d of trash last year, São Paulo state's 43.7mn residents produced around 1.38kg/d per person. Of the 4,540t/d of waste produced in the federal district last year, 4,423t/d ended up in controlled landfills, the report said. As for São Paulo, it generated 61,244t/d. Of this, 46,700t/d ended up in treatment facilities, 9,120t/d in controlled landfills, and 4,990t/d in open-air dumps. The neighboring state of Rio de Janeiro was ranked third, with its 16.5mn residents producing 1.31kg/d of trash on average. Of the 21,834t/d generated, 14,700t/d ended up in sanitation treatment facilities, 4,670t/d in controlled landfills, and 2,130t/d in open-air dumps Ranked fourth and fifth are the states of Amazonas and Goiás. On average, they produced 0.936kg/d and 0.962kg/d of trash, respectively. CREDIT: BNamericas based on Abrelpe, GO Associados study. NATIONAL FIGURES Home to 203mn residents, Brazil as a whole produced 0.963kg/d of solid waste in 2014. This sums up to 195,000t/d, or more than 71.3Mt for the year. Investments in solid waste collection in the country totaled up to 9.42bn reais (US$2.76bn) last year, equivalent to a monthly average of 3.87 reais per person, according to the report. Of Brazil's 5,570 cities and towns, 2,226 have adopted sanitation facilities with proper treatment as the final destination for solid waste. A total of 1,775 municipalities use controlled dumps and 1,569 use open-air dumps.$header

  • SPOTLIGHT: Tradeco's top 3 Mexican bridges

    Mexican firm Tradeco has built dozens of multibillion-dollar infrastructure projects in the country and won many contracts during the administration of former president Felipe Calderón. Among them is a 1,124m long cable-stayed bridge which is a Guinness World Record holder. The firm, which appears to be enjoying less success in terms of contract awards during the current administration, of President Enrique Peña Nieto, is planning to list on the Mexican stock exchange, according to local press. BNamericas takes a look at three of Tradeco's top bridges. THE BRIDGES The Baluarte bridge, along the Durango-Mazatlán highway, has a maximum drop from the surface of the deck to the bottom of the Baluarte river of 402.57m and has enough room to fit the Eiffel Tower underneath its central span. Baluarte is not only the highest bridge in North America but also the highest cable-stayed bridge in the world, according to Guinness World Records. The bridge cost an estimated 2.3bn pesos (US$143mn), took four years to build, and was inaugurated by Calderón in 2012. Spanning a ravine in the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range, the bridge was built as part of celebrations to mark 200 years of Mexico's independence from Spain. It required 104,766t of cement and almost 12,314t of steel, according to data from Tradeco. Officials say it has slashed travel time between Mazatlán and Durango by about six hours. Baluarte bridge. (CREDIT: Panoramia). EL CARRIZO The firm's second largest bridge is El Carrizo, which was inaugurated in 2013. At 198m high, El Carrizo is ranked 43 among the highest bridges in the world. El Carrizo's 226m tall central tower is the tallest bridge structure on the highway and the second tallest bridge structure in North America, according to information on the company's Facebook page. The structure is just 1m taller than the Torre Mayor building in Mexico City. The company did not reveal the amount of investment required. El Carrizo bridge. (CREDIT: Grupo Tradeco). INFIERNILLO I Meanwhile, the third largest bridge built by Tradeco is Infiernillo in Michoacán state. Infiernillo I is 354m long, it said, without disclosing further details. El Infiernillo I bridge. (CREDIT: Grupo Tradeco).$header

  • SPOTLIGHT: Tradeco's top 3 Mexican bridges

    Mexican firm Tradeco has built dozens of multibillion-dollar infrastructure projects in the country and won many contracts during the administration of former president Felipe Calderón. Among them is a 1,124m long cable-stayed bridge which is a Guinness World Record holder. The firm, which appears to be enjoying less success in terms of contract awards during the current administration, of President Enrique Peña Nieto, is planning to list on the Mexican stock exchange, according to local press. BNamericas takes a look at three of Tradeco's top bridges. THE BRIDGES The Baluarte bridge, along the Durango-Mazatlán highway, has a maximum drop from the surface of the deck to the bottom of the Baluarte river of 402.57m and has enough room to fit the Eiffel Tower underneath its central span. Baluarte is not only the highest bridge in North America but also the highest cable-stayed bridge in the world, according to Guinness World Records. The bridge cost an estimated 2.3bn pesos (US$143mn), took four years to build, and was inaugurated by Calderón in 2012. Spanning a ravine in the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range, the bridge was built as part of celebrations to mark 200 years of Mexico's independence from Spain. It required 104,766t of cement and almost 12,314t of steel, according to data from Tradeco. Officials say it has slashed travel time between Mazatlán and Durango by about six hours. Baluarte bridge. (CREDIT: Panoramia). EL CARRIZO The firm's second largest bridge is El Carrizo, which was inaugurated in 2013. At 198m high, El Carrizo is ranked 43 among the highest bridges in the world. El Carrizo's 226m tall central tower is the tallest bridge structure on the highway and the second tallest bridge structure in North America, according to information on the company's Facebook page. The structure is just 1m taller than the Torre Mayor building in Mexico City. The company did not reveal the amount of investment required. El Carrizo bridge. (CREDIT: Grupo Tradeco). INFIERNILLO I Meanwhile, the third largest bridge built by Tradeco is Infiernillo in Michoacán state. Infiernillo I is 354m long, it said, without disclosing further details. El Infiernillo I bridge. (CREDIT: Grupo Tradeco).$header

  • Chile copper terminal project set for approval

    An environmental impact assessment (EIA) for construction of a bulk terminal for copper concentrate and potassium chloride submitted by Interacid Trading Chile is set to be approved by the country's environmental evaluation service (SEA), BNamericas has learned. The US$90mn project, at the Mejillones terminal in northern Chile's Antofagsta region (II), was submitted in August 2013, and a vote was scheduled for July 31 following a favorable recommendation by the regional SEA office, SEA documents show. The project entails construction of a copper concentrate reception area, three warehouses able to stock 80,000t each and a conveyor belt system. In the case of potassium chloride, the project entails a reception area and three storage sites in a 0.5ha area. The project also includes the expansion of the port's dock, as well as construction of a third berthing area to be used exclusively for the reception of sulfuric acid. Interacid Trading Chile is the local subsidiary of Swiss-based trading and logistics firm Interacid Trading. Since 1994, the company has been in the storage and distribution of sulfuric acid business, mainly serving Chile's mining industry. It operates the Mejillones terminal, with total storage capacity of 140,000t.$header

  • ONEOK to boost pipeline capacity to Mexico

    ONEOK Partners will invest up to US$100mn in the expansion of its WesTex natural gas pipeline system to raise capacity by 260Mf3/d (7.36Mm3/d) by 1Q17 and increasing supply to Mexico. The plan includes the construction of two new compressor stations and upgrades or expansions to three existing compressor stations, the Oklahoma-based firm said in a press release. ONEOK WesTex Transmission is a 3,580km natural gas pipeline system operating within Texas. "These integrated assets will provide markets in Mexico access to upstream supply basins in West Texas and the mid-continent, which adds location and price diversity to their supply mix," ONEOK's CEO Terry K. Spencer said. Mexico's state utility CFE will be the anchor shipper and has subscribed to firm capacity (take-or-pay) for a 25-year term, ONEOK said. The company said that the long-term transportation agreement supports CFE's strategy to bring natural gas to Mexico. The first phase of capacity is approximately 100MMcf/d (2.83Mm3/d) and will be available in 1Q16, while the second phase, with an approximate capacity of 400Mcf/d, will be available in 1Q17. The Roadrunner Gas Transmission pipeline project is a 50:50 joint venture with a subsidiary of Fermaca, a Mexico City-based natural gas infrastructure company, and which will transport natural gas from the Permian Basin in West Texas to Mexico, with up to 570 MMcf/d to be transported to Mexico's growing markets. The pipeline will extend from ONEOK WesTex's natural gas pipeline system at Coyanosa ,Texas, to a new international border crossing connection near San Elizario, in the same US state. BNamericas will host its 5th LatAm Power Generation Summit in Lima, Peru, on August 19-20 and its 9th South America Infrastructure & Energy Summit in Bogotá, Colombia, on September 9-10. Click here to download the agendas.$header

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