The first stage of the expansion of the Veracruz Port has officially begun with the laying of the foundation stone for a new terminal by Governor Javier Duarte de Ochoa and the general coordinator Guillermo Ruiz de Teresa on November 24th.
The first stage of the expansion project includes the construction of the 4.3km breakwater and dredging, while phase 2 will involve the construction of three terminals.
The Veracruz port expansion project consists of expanding the northern area of the port by 500ha into the Vergara bay.
The new terminal, estimated to be worth 27 billion pesos (USD 1.9 billion), will have 35 berths once completed covering an area of 500 hectares of land and featuring debth of 18 meters, its capacity being handling of over a hundred million tons a year, Mexican Ministry of Communications and Transportation said.
The port enlargement project is deemed to be one of the most ambitious and biggest port projects in Mexican history aimed at turning Mexico into a modern global logistical hub.
The project is set to create 140,000 jobs.
The Port of Veracruz is an area of strategic importance for the country’s foreign trade being the main entrance to the Gulf of Mexico.
In addition, as the Panama Canal expansion plans approaches its completion, bigger ships will need to be handled in the port.
At the moment the port moves 30% of Mexico’s maritime cargo.
The first phase of the construction will be completed in 2017 and the terminal is estimated to be able to handle 66 million tons of additional goods and receive post Panamax vessels.
Currently the port moves 66% of the vehicles that are exported and imported by sea and 48% of agricultural bulk.
World Maritime News Staff; Image: Twitter@Havier Duarte