By THE PULSE NEWS MEXICO STAFF
Without bothering to offer a public tender, Mexico’s state-run and highly indebted oil giant Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) granted a contract of 37.341 billion pesos to two of its own subsidiaries for the lease of new oil tanker trucks in November.
The contract constitutes the largest directly awarded so far during the current administration of President Andrés Manuel López obrador (AMLO).
The contract was awarded on Nov. 12 to Pemex Desarrollo e Inversión Inmobiliaria (PDII) and its subsidiary III Servicios, the latter famous for having constructed, with multiple irregularities, the controversial Estela de Luz monument in Mexico City during the administration of former President Felipe Calderón.
Being private companies, PDII and III Servicios are not subject to transparency rules nor are they required to publish their contracts on the Pemex portal.
The award amount exceeds the 29.984 billion peso contract which was awarded, also without tender, to the construction company ICA for the fourth section of AMLO’s equally controversial Tren Maya tourist train.
A highly redacted public version of the Pemex contract did not specify the number and characteristics of the vehicles to be leased, nor whether the private subsidiaries may in turn subcontract to other companies.
However, in 2019 the AMLO administration purchased 671 emergency tanker truckers from III Servicios for $92 million in order to manage gasoline shortages caused by the government’s closure of pipelines to curb fuel theft.
In July, the National Chamber of Freight Transportation (Canacar) filed an injunction against Pemex, claiming that it was preparing to hire Pemex subsidiaries without prior consultation or tender within the sector, as specified by the federal Business Chambers Law. That injunction was later dismissed.
According to Canacar, the untendered Pemex contract will be detrimental to 180 companies that have about 3,500 tanker trucks distributing gasoline, diesel and other oil products throughout the country.