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Maersk bullish on Latin America
“It’s undersupplied with infrastructure. That’s why we’re investing in Peru, that’s why we’re investing in Costa Rica, we’re building in Brazil and would potentially be interested in more ports in Brazil,” Andersen said.
“Latin America as a whole is very interesting, and Mexico within that area is clearly more interesting,” he added.
Andersen cited Mexico’s efforts to open up the oil sector, its competitive labor costs, free trade agreements and close economic ties to the United States as positive factors.
In 2011, Maersk’s ports division APM Terminals announced its successful tender to build and operate a new container terminal at Mexico’s Pacific coast port Lazaro Cardenas.
Construction, which recently started, is valued at $900 million over three phases, the first of which is set to be completed in 2015 and cost $500 million, said Andersen.
“What we are investing in is facilities that will enable Mexico to trade with the rest of the world,” said Andersen.
The first phase of Maersk’s project at Lazaro Cardenas is due to create a capacity of 1.2 million twenty-foot container units (TEUs), the company estimates. While fully expanded, the terminal would reach 4.3 million TEUs, Maersk says.
The chief executive added APM Terminals is currently “pursuing” a new container terminal at the major Gulf coast port of Veracruz. “We proposed to the government that we should take an interest in Veracruz,” he said, without giving more details.
The conglomerate’s total Latin America investment and committed capital total about $8 billion, all of which has been pledged over the past five years, Andersen said. (Reuters)
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