Punta Colonet bid details revealed
The first phase of the Punta Colonet port project in Baja California, which opened to bidders last week, has the potential to be as large as the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles combined, according to official Mexican government bid documents.
The bid invitations cover three separate aspects of the port development: a railroad development and concession, a concession for overall port administration and development, and a marine terminal development and operations concession.
The first phase of the Colonet project, to be located in an undeveloped Baja California bay 150 miles south of the U.S.-Mexico border, is projected to cost $5 billion when completed in 2012.
Aimed at luring away Asian cargo now heading through the Southern California ports to the U.S. East Coast via overland rail, the Punta Colonet port complex is envisioned as a nearly all-intermodal operation, with containers being transported via rail to the American mainline rails near the intersection of the California, Arizona and Mexican borders.
According to the bid documents, potential awardees will bid on a 45-year concession for constructing and operating a railway line between Colonet and one or two destinations at the U.S.-Mexico border. The railroad portion of the bidding will also require potential contract awardees to provide operations for freight and passenger service along the railway as well as be responsible for obtaining permits for the routes.
Potential bidders are also expected to bid on a 45-year concession for overall port administration operations, as well as oversight of the use and administration of public and federally controlled lands in the project site.
Details in the bidding package indicate that the available property for the project is more than 6,800 acres, or about the same size as the two Southern California ports.
A final portion of the bid package requires potential awardees to bid on a 45-year concession covering the construction, operation and use of marine terminal at Colonet.
Additional details revealed in the bid package include:
' The port operations contract winner must be a Mexican corporation.
' The Mexican transportation secretary will determine the rail routes based on the winning bidder's proposal.
' The railroad contract winner must be a Mexican corporation with no more than 49 percent foreign ownership.
' The winning bidder will be responsible for all financing of the project.
' If the winning bidder later opts out of the contract, the concessions revert to the Mexican government.
' Each bidder must produce a $2.4 million 'guarantee for participation' note until an award is announced.
' A guarantee 'letter of credit' for $38.4 million must be presented for the rail concession.
' A 'guarantee of bond' for $38.4 million must be presented for the port administration concession.
' A 'guarantee of bond' for $115.27 million must be presented for the marine terminal concession.
Bidders have until the first week of July 2009 to present bid packages to the Mexican secretary of transportation's office. Contract awards are scheduled to be announced between Oct. 27 and Nov. 3, 2009.