Avant plans logistics system to import refined products into Mexico

Reynosa, Mexico (Platts)--7 Feb 2018 705 pm EST/005 GMT

Avant Energy is planning to build a logistics system that will supply refined products to Mexico's Bajio region via rail from the Port of Altamira in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, the company said Wednesday.

The network will be known as Supera and it will be built along with strategic partners Savage Services and Kansas City Southern (KCS), Avant said in a statement.

Avant was not immediately available for comment. The company already has all the port facilities and regulatory permits required for construction.

The system will be anchored by a 1.2-million-barrel marine import terminal at the port of Altamira, which will be able to unload Panamax vessels.

Products will be moved using unit trains operated by KCS to the Bajio region, which includes the states of Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, Jalisco and Queretaro, a growing manufacturing region.

In Queretaro, product will be unloaded at a Savage 450,000-barrel unit train terminal. Construction of both facilities is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2018 and commercial operations to start before the end of 2019.

The system could also potentially move product to other KCS terminals, Avant said. KCS also has fuel terminals in the cities of San Luis Potosi and Monterrey.

Luis Farias, CEO of Avant Energy, said in the statement that the logistics systems will provide "superior logistics solutions to connect the high growth Bajio region with the US Gulf Coast, the largest and most efficient market in the world for refined products."

He added that Mexico's energy reform has allowed new players such as Avant to participate in Mexico's opening fuel markets and increase efficiency in the supply system to ultimately benefit the consumer.

"This network will open the door to more efficient supply and transportation of refined petroleum products from US refiners into Mexico's North-Central region, where it is needed," said Kirk Aubry, Savage's CEO, in the statement.

A lack of infrastructure has been a barrier for new companies entering the market to compete against state-owned Mexican oil company Pemex. So far, ExxonMobil and Andeavor are the only other two companies importing gasoline in Mexico as marketers.

Mexico is the fourth largest gasoline market in the world, according to the country's Energy Secretariat.

Avant's facility in the port of Altamira will join private marine terminals being developed by Glencore in Dos Bocas, Tabasco; Grupo Lodemo in Puerto Progreso, Yucatan; IEnova and Valero in Veracruz; and Vopak and Koch in Veracruz, which is already operational. --Daniel Rodriguez,

--Edited by Derek Sands,

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