Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of United States-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: $18B LNG export terminal project moves forward at Texas seaport; DHL investing $560M to expand supply chains in Mexico, South America; German manufacturer announces 1st facility in Mexico; and CBP seizes nearly $4 million in meth from a California border crossing.
$18B LNG export terminal project moves forward at Texas seaport
Energy producer NextDecade Corp. said on Wednesday it’s moving ahead with construction of a multibillion dollar liquefied natural gas export terminal at the Port of Brownsville in South Texas.
The Houston-based company’s Rio Grande LNG terminal at the port will consist of five compressor units once completed, with each designed to process 5.4 million metric tons of LNG per year, making the 984-acre facility among the largest LNG exporters in the world.
“We look forward to delivering this important LNG project that will supply the world with reliable and lower-carbon intensive LNG,” Matt Schatzman, NextDecade’s chairman and CEO, said in a news release. “Now our focus turns to safely constructing Phase 1 on time and on budget.”
The Rio Grande LNG terminal project’s total cost for the first phase is $18.4 billion. NextDecade said it has secured almost $6 billion in financing from international partners to begin work on the project’s first three compressors to LNG from Texas’ shale fields for export on global markets.
NextDecade’s partners in the project include French oil giant TotalEnergies and financial investors Global Infrastructure Partners, GIC and Mubadala Investment Co.
The company did not specify a completion date for the first phase of the project during Wednesday’s announcement. NextDecade initially planned to begin construction of the Rio Grande LNG terminal last year, with a target completion date of 2026.
Officials for the Port of Brownsville said the Rio Grande LNG terminal will transform South Texas and the state’s trade with the world.
Located 277 miles south of San Antonio at the southernmost tip of Texas along the Gulf of Mexico, the Port of Brownsville is the only deep-water seaport located along the border, making it a major trade channel between Texas and Mexico.
“The Rio Grande LNG facility will be a true game-changer for our community, representing a generational achievement,” Eduardo A. Campirano, the port’s director and CEO, said in a news release. “Its impact will be enormous, significantly benefiting the energy industry of Texas.”
DHL investing $560M to expand supply chains in Mexico, South America
German transport and logistics giant DHL Supply Chain announced an investment of $556 million in Latin America by 2028.
The investments include building warehouses, developing robotics and automation solutions and decarbonization efforts across Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Peru and Argentina.
DHL will use the funds to strengthen logistics capabilities in high-demand sectors, including healthcare, automotive, technology, retail and e-commerce, the company said.
“Companies all around the globe are looking for more diversified sourcing and supply chain strategies by bringing stock points closer to their production and sales markets,” Oscar de Bok, CEO of DHL Supply Chain, said in a statement. “We see increasing demand for logistics support in Mexico, Brazil and the other strategic markets in Latin America.”
DHL Supply Chain currently operates 242 warehouses in Latin America totaling 3 million square feet.
The company also announced it has opened the Center of Excellence for Electric Vehicles in Mexico City. The facility is the first in the Americas to store and distribute electric batteries for the automotive industry, according to DHL.
DHL Supply Chain, which has 510,000 employees, operates 1,400 warehouses and offices in 55 countries.
German manufacturer announces 1st facility in Mexico
Germany-based manufacturer Kurtz Ersa recently began construction of a plant in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
The plant, which will create about 60 jobs initially, will produce welding machines used in automotive manufacturing. The factory is scheduled to open in 2024 and will be the company’s first in Mexico.
The Ciudad Juarez factory will be Kurtz Ersa’s third-largest manufacturing plant outside of Germany and China and will also serve as a preproduction center for the company’s facility in Plymouth, Wisconsin.
“[Mexico’s] central location on the border provides excellent access and facilitates access to strong local markets in the Americas,” Albrecht Beck, Kurtz Ersa’s president and COO, said in a news release. “The new production facility in [Cuidad Juarez] will better serve local customers, minimize the C02 footprint, shorten delivery times and reduce freight costs.”
Kurtz Ersa produces industrial machinery used in the electronic and automotive industries. The company has 2,500 employees across 17 production and sales locations around the world.
CBP seizes nearly $4M in meth from California border crossing
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at a Southern California port of entry reportedly recently discovered 1,815 pounds in methamphetamine concealed in the roof of a tractor-trailer.
The case occurred July 6, when CBP officers at the Tecate port of entry south of San Diego were inspecting a tractor-trailer arriving from Mexico. Officers reportedly found 138 packages stashed in the tractor’s roof that tested positive for methamphetamine.
The narcotics have an estimated street value of $3.9 million. CBP officers turned the case over to Homeland Security Investigations.
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