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Progreso shipyard begins operation on floating deepwater port

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A floating repair station has begun operations in Progreso. Photo: Sipse

Mérida, Yucatán — The region’s shipping industry entered a new stage with an ambitious new Floating Repair Station at the Port of Altura de Progreso.

The 900-million-pesos floating dock serves cargo and cruise ships in deep water, the first to open in Mexico for 50 years. It offers valve and pipeline repair and replacement services, internal combustion engine repair, and machine work, said Rubén Peniche Pasos, general director of Diques Peninsulares, which operates the station.

The shipyard is on the tip of the world’s longest pier, 6.5 km long, stretching beyond the limestone shelf that prevents ships from coming nearer to shore. It also receives cruise ships and cargo vessels several times a week.

The  business, which started off by working on two Bolivian container ships that serve Caribbean islands, has generated 30 specialized jobs. They have service agreements with eight shipping companies.

Peniche noted that the Floating Repairs Station is stimulating the area’s economy,  since their work requires raw materials purchased locally.

Prior to the new operation, the only two Mexican shipyards for deepwater vessels in the Gulf of Mexico were Tampico, Tamaulipas, and the port of Veracruz. Diques Peninsulares is counting on a growing stock of cargo ships, all potential clients. More than 500 offshore industry vessels in the Gulf of Mexico require services

The Floating Repair Station is operating in the first of three phases.

The second stage, which is about four years away, will allow for the construction of ships and oil platforms.

Once the shipyard completes its expansion plans, the facility will be the largest shipyard in Latin America, with hundreds of skilled workers on its payroll, the company said.

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