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MEXICO - Telecoms & IT

Ray Fletcher

CEO, Fermaca Networks


Ray Fletcher has been the CEO of Fermaca Networks for five years. He attended the Law School of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and has extensive experience as an entrepreneur, having been a part of the early stages of the fast-food franchise industry in Mexico in the early 1990s and in the hedge fund industry from 1995 to 2017.

Focusing on infrastructure development, Fermaca Networks has helped develop major infrastructure projects in the digital infrastructure and petrochemical industries.

Focusing on infrastructure development, Fermaca Networks has helped develop major infrastructure projects in the digital infrastructure and petrochemical industries.

In what ways is Fermaca Networks innovating its portfolio beyond pipeline infrastructure?

Fermaca’s core activity since 2000 has been the development of pipeline infrastructure. However, the focus of Fernando and Manuel Cavillo has been to think outside the box and leverage our 20-year capacity and experience into related businesses. This brings us to two main areas we are pursuing, the development of digital structure in two basic projects: a dark-fiber, long haul network and data centers. Another is in the gas transformation industry, specifically the development of an ammonia and urea plant on the Pacific coast of Mexico. We have been working on the data center project for the past five years. Mexico has tremendous challenges in terms of available infrastructure to create data centers that accommodate international standards. The two focal problems we have noticed are availability, reliability, and the cost of energy and the other is connectivity between the country and other parts of the world. This led us to prioritize the connectivity issue by tackling the development of a fiber optic network to provide for the necessary infrastructure to provide connectivity to our data center project. In a broader context, we must resolve the connectivity issues first. We have experience developing and executing 2,200km of gas pipelines and can leverage this knowledge with one of our sister companies, BCYSA Servicios Industriales, which can offer an added-value in developing this type of infrastructure.

What does your portfolio comprise, and what is the main focus of your current investments?

Fermaca Infraestructura’s core investment is in the fiber network from Ciudad Juárez in Chihuahua to Querétaro with a leg west into Guadalajara. We are building 1,950km of state-of-the-art, long-haul dark fiber, with a right of way adjacent to our existing gas pipeline as well as a highway, all of it underground. Our network will count with two border crossings that connect it to major US fiber optic confluence, therefore opening it to a wide range of opportunities in the US and beyond. The fiber optic network will have established a presence in metro areas like Querétaro, Aguascalientes, Guadalajara, Chihuahua, and others. We can interconnect with the metro fiber present in those cities and link to the local data centers, specifically in Querétaro. When it comes to data center projects, we are looking for additional areas in Mexico to create what are called edge-type data centers, namely smaller data centers closer to the end user. We can leverage our energy-producing capacities to make it more efficient to transmit data into areas other than Querétaro.

What is the next step for the company given this rather unconventional business strategy?

The main focus is digital infrastructure with dark fiber and data centers, aside from being competitive producers of energy. We have also created technology that can be used in building solutions for data centers at a reduced scale. It can lower energy consumption by eliminating the need for artificial cooling. It reduces operating costs by 25-30%, making it greener and environmentally friendly. In addition to creating projects beneficial to the people of Mexico, which is our priority, we are also conscious that projects need to be sustainable within the scope of these industries and thus differ from the typical infrastructure available. Our other core project is the ammonia-urea plant, leveraging our experience in the gas industry. In a nutshell, we seek to provide Mexican farmers with a local and reliable product source at a better price. These projects for now are self-funded, though we are looking into different financing sources. We are working with several financial entities to realize these projects and are looking to finalize FID for the fiber optic project at the end of 1Q2023 and for the fertilizer plant in the 4Q2023. Our main focus is to generate infrastructure that will benefit the people of Mexico and leave a positive legacy for future generations.



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