Mexico Sees 150 Billion Pesos in 2010 Road Investment

Mexico’s government expects public and private spending on highways and roads next year to total 150 billion pesos ($11.5 billion), Communications and Transportation Minister Juan Molinar Horcasitas said.

The government may attract 100 billion pesos from the private sector, and Congress has budgeted 50 billion pesos for the country’s roads next year, Molinar told reporters today on the sidelines of a conference in New York.

Mexico is seeking private investment for toll-road, airport and port projects to create jobs and improve transportation. The government is tendering bids to build or improve toll roads in the Pacific Coast region and plans another tender for roads in the northeast state of Tamaulipas by January, Molinar said.

“There is an enormous amount of projects that are being developed,” Molinar said. “In all these cases, we have already received a very energetic response from the private sector.”

The ministry last month named Impulsora del Desarrollo y el Empleo en America Latina SAB, controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, as the winner of an auction to operate a separate toll- road project in the Pacific region. The 3.22 billion peso bid by Ideal, as the company is known, topped offers from Obrascon Huarte Lain SA (OHL) and a group headed by Empresas ICA SAB. (ICA*)

Next year’s projects may include toll roads in the central state of Michoacan and the Punta Colonet port complex in the coastal state of Baja California, Molinar said. The government also plans to tender rights to build the Riviera Maya airport, which will be based in Tulum near the resort city of Cancun.

Molinar said the government will begin an auction by the end of this year for the right to operate two fiber-optic lines owned by the state-owned electricity provider, Comision Federal de Electricidad. Phone carriers such as Axtel SAB and Grupo Televisa SA (TLEVICPO) may bid to operate the lines to gain access to routes for long-distance voice and Internet traffic.

To contact the reporters on this story: Fabiola Moura in New York at fdemoura@bloomberg.net; Crayton Harrison in Mexico City at tharrison5@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kevin Miller at kmiller@bloomberg.net.

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