Executive: Govt has run out of money to fund projects

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Mexico's federal government has apparently run out of funds to carry out water infrastructure projects in Baja California Sur state, Mexican/US water desalination technology manufacturer Coast Marine Services co-owner Raúl Cervantes told BNamericas.

On March 9, environment ministry Semarnat and the government of Baja California Sur state announced they will spend 733mn pesos (US$48.3mn) to carry out potable water and wastewater treatment works.

Of the total, 300mn pesos will be assigned to develop potable water, wastewater treatment and sewerage infrastructure to recover and reuse up to 115m3/s of water in city Los Cabos.

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Works also include a potable water project in Mulegé, as well as water collection and irrigation technification systems on 1,300ha in Comondú.

"We have worked with Baja California Sur's water department and their desalination division. I recently got a call asking me to update our prices for a list of parts to get their units back and running in good order, for roughly US$156,000. After doing so, I asked if they were going to buy, but they replied the state cannot come up with any money," Cervantes said.

"So, it was confusing to read Semarnat's announcement because it implies the state is going to come up with money it does not have. Of 21 major projects launched in 2008, every single one of them has been cancelled due to lack of funding," he added.

"This is very common in Mexico. They come up with huge projects, start them off and all of sudden nothing happens," Cervantes said. "Some people say the state does not have any money and keeps making announcements to protect the economy from the global economic crisis. There might be some truth to this."

Coast Marine also sells parts and units to state oil company Pemex, which uses them to maintain its oil tanks.