Environmental Impact Assessment, Regional Type
Manzanillo Port Project,
2015-2020 Master Development Program

May 2017

The port of Manzanillo has proven to be a worldwide avant-garde port as having faced the traffic caused by the strike of the ports on the West coast of the United States in a timely manner, operating to date 2,000 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) in International Carriage of Goods, and positioning itself as a suitable alternative for the handling of load coming from Asian countries to the East Coast of North America. 

Given to the characteristics of the port, its geographic location, territorial extension and commercial purpose, the same is foreseen to become a major business center. The opportunity of private capital investments are aimed at the construction of facilities and specialized terminals, emphasizing a second terminal specialized in handling container (TEC II), two multi-purpose terminals (TUM I and II), without prejudice to other activities such as the specialized handling of fertilizers, and vehicles.

The development of the communications and transport sector in this area is represented by multiple activities at the port which, in summary, can be classified as: services to vessels, general vessels services and maneuver services for the transfer of goods or merchandise, of which the Port of Manzanillo provides the following ones: pilotage, tow roping, freight charges, mooring ropes, provisioning, drinking water, fuels, electricity, garbage or waste collection, loading, unloading, stash, storage, stowage and hauling in the port, in addition to the services of scale, boat and containers repair, fumigation, fire management control panels handling for refrigerated containers, consolidation and deconsolidation of movable toilets which are provided by legal entities and individuals, upon signing Services Agreements with the API.

Currently, as a result of its port infrastructure, the Port of Manzanillo is one of the most important ports in terms of tonnage handled, number of arrivals of ships, value of the goods and capacity receipt for vessels.

The Port of Manzanillo has been characterized for its growth in recent years, where private investment has played a very important role. The main purpose of the port has been to restructure the National Port System and the creation of the API"s, which to date has been a support for the investor and for those businesses engaged in foreign trade, who have searched a place for the development of their projects and for the carriage of their products in Manzanillo.

The port has distinguished itself for having a skilled workforce, leading equipment technology and productivity, both regarding national and international competiveness, providing a timely response to the requirements and needs of entrepreneurs and investors to its port activities, since it has created trust for the handling of its products and for the establishment of its facilities.

The Port of Manzanillo handles a great variety of goods under a high added value. The most significant goods in the case of imports are: oil seeds, fertilizers, steel blade, mineral bulk and the import of motor vehicles and automotive parts.

Within the same category of imports, it is necessary to highlight the significant handling of containers currently operating in Manzanillo, since it is being used as a central port to subsequently carry out distributions to regions such as Asia, Central and South America.

Regarding the main exported goods through the port are motor vehicles and empty containers. Moreover, there are clinker, cement, iron pellets, zinc concentrates, sugar, candies, inorganic chemical goods, beverages and spirits, among other exports, which are sent to Central and South America.

In view of the world changes in the foreign trade and the globalization of systems, the API has tried to find a way to take advantage of new business opportunities that could occur within the port area by using its geographic location and its own influence zone, consistently participating in national and international events in order to promote the competitive advantages that Manzanillo offers in terms of infrastructure, quality of services and investment opportunities in the development of new terminals and facilities.

However, and in spite of the significant progress achieved by the port in the handling of goods, performance and times of operation, there are still some problems with respect to intermodal integration, strategies, inadequate logistics, as well as bottlenecks in the interior of the Port Area.

Based on the above, the implementation of the Master Development Program plays a key role to achieve increased productivity and port efficiency, whose effects will be seen in the short, medium and long term and will transform the port of Manzanillo into the main Central and Multi-Purpose Port of the West coast of our country.

The following general considerations, in terms of the environment and its preservation, derive from the study carried out.

1. The area of the project corresponds to an area modified by man aimed for a land use for port activities and under the federal public property regime.

2. To keep an adequate exchange of water between the remaining lakes and the sea, channels of sufficient cross-sections for the exchange of fresh and salt water between the Valle de las Garzas lagoon and the dock on the north side have been preserved. Derived from the hydrodynamic study the option to carry out an exchange between seawater and the lagoon through a pumping system that keeps the health conditions necessary for the development of the system within the Valle de las Garzas lagoon has been determined.

3. Some plant and animal species in the property of the project are under protection regime, however, those species without any protection regime, such as the ones that form part of the thorn forest, may be incorporated into Valle de las Garzas lagoon, only to the extent that the transfer of mangrove and the secondary vegetation species will be successfully achieved.

4. The social environment indicates that a greater supply of jobs is required, given that generally speaking, the income level is medium. Services activities prevail among the economically active population.

5. No governing or regulatory elements were found that may hinder the project.

6. There is almost the same amount of adverse and beneficial impacts. The total analysis of the project indicates that mitigation and compensation measures to obtain a net benefit in the implementation of the project are required.

7. The environmental feasibility of the project is justified on the basis of the result of the analysis of the possible impacts arising from activities during the stages of its development.

8. A benefit in the creation of jobs, direct and indirect is expected.

9. With respect to the affected environmental features, mitigation measures that favor its recovery can be implemented. Significant adverse impacts are not dimmable or mitigated, so Compensation Measures for the benefit of the community and the environment are proposed in order to allow offsetting the adverse effect resulting from the works.

10. Preventive measures are aimed to fight the environmental counterculture of the staff involved in the project, as in almost every environmental impact study.

11. The impacts on vegetation and fauna can be a source of pressure for the development area of the project, creating environmental services demand that may represent a negative effect on the balance of the local environment. This can be confirmed given that the mangrove to be dismantled represents less than 1% in the municipality. A regional impact is not expected.

12. In relation to socio-economic matters, an increase in job offers, trade activities and infrastructure development will arise, which will cover the demand for these social satisfiers. Residual and synergistic effects are provided for upon the operation of the port. Therefore the benefit of the project will be evident in the short and medium term.

13. Together with the growth of the port, municipal services are expected, which in turn will cause great pressure to the environment. This can only be solved if state and municipal development plans set the necessary measures to meet these demands.

Source: Environmental Impact Assessment, Regional Type, Manzanillo Port Project, 2015-2020 Master Development Program http://www.puertomanzanillo.com.mx/upl/sec//PMDP%202015-2020.pdf