Friday, December 1, 2023

Chinese company to build modular capsule homes in Nuevo León

Issued with a promise of 2,000 to 3,000 new jobs, there was an announcement Wednesday that a Chinese company is going to open a plant in Nuevo León to construct modular houses.

The announcement was made on the social media networks of Simón Levy, a former deputy minister in Mexico’s Ministry of Tourism and the vice president of operations for Vessel México. Vessel will invest US $300 million in the project, according to Levy, and is a brand of the Chinese company Weisu, according to the newspaper El Financiero.

“I want to share that we have made the decision that the first Vessel plant in Mexico will be in Nuevo León,” Levy wrote, adding that it will be in the municipality of Pesquería, 33 kilometers from the state capital of Monterrey. “It will be an investment of more than $300 million to transform housing in our country.”

He said the first stage of the project would generate about 2,000 jobs, and in a second phase, the number could reach 3,000. He also said Mérida, Yucatán, was first considered as the site for the plant, but Nuevo León proved to be a better option due to the availability of labor and local suppliers.

Vessel builds high-end, sustainable capsule houses that can be used in the hotel, lodging and housing industry. From its website: “From peaks to jungles, tidal flats to desert lands, [s]cenic spots have become a new tourist interest. The significance of establishing Vessel is to break through the restrictions of various complex terrains, develop ecologically, and use intelligent ecological cabins. Vessel provides tourists the appeal of ‘living in the scenery.’”

Beyond tourism, the units can be used as single-family homes or in the agro-industrial sector.

Some features of the units include walls that capture solar energy, biometric access, floor-to-ceiling windows, air conditioning, automatic curtains and built-in 5G WiFi. “Biometric access” is something that allows for entry by fingerprint or iris identification rather than a key, card key or code.

No announcement was made on what models will be built in Pesquería, but the Vessel website shows two Model V units like the one Levy showcased in his post. One that lists a capacity of two to four people measures roughly 31 feet by 11 feet for a total of 337 square feet; another with an occupancy of two is 21 feet by 10 feet for 210 square feet. Both list a height of just over 10 feet.

The units come prebuilt, for the most part, and the Vessel website says installation can be completed in two hours as there’s “no need for on-site construction and decoration.”

Vessel is aiming to start operations in Mexico at the end of 2023, with its first houses ready for sale in 2024. Vessel has expanded to countries such as Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, Peru and Brazil this year. Vessel already manufactures and markets in China, Hawaii, Japan and other places, according to the newspaper Reforma.

With reports from Reforma and El Financiero

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