Mexico's Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (SCT, www.sct.gob.mx) has authorized creation of a major deep-sea port in the area surrounding the small fishing and mining Pacific coast village, Punta Colonet. The village is approximately 120 miles south of San Diego.
The news was enthusiastically received not just in the Baja Peninsula, but in Mexico City, as well. Almost instantly railroad company Ferromex announced its intention to bid for the construction of a 320-km. line to link Colonet with Mexicali, the state capital of Baja California. Ferromex is a partner of both Burlington Northern and Union Pacific in the U. S. Bidding for the railroad has not yet been slated but Ferromex says it has $280 million in cash ready to go to work creating the rail line. Ferromex would benefit in two ways. It would benefit from container transportation, and Colonet would be the perfect hub for their specialty in Mexico, carrying mining products.
The SCT says all studies find that Colonet Bay has the required depth and size to meet "all necessary services related to port activities." Port Colonet, as it may be named, has become a free-for-all. Real estate prices are soaring and the still sleepy village where California tourists still doze off their Tijuana-and Ensenadaacquired hangovers is beginning a new economic life.
At a state level, political scandals are in the offing. It is well known that Ensenada tuna fishing fleet owner and former Baja governor, Ernesto Ruffo Appel, used insider trading information when he bought 1,200 acres of prime land in Colonet.
Bidding for the construction of the port facilities is beginning with most major Pacific ocean shipping lines participating in the $5 to 12 billion contract to be financed by the shippers themselves.