Sunday, June 23, 2024

CFE announces Sonora-Baja California natural gas pipeline project

The Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), Carso Energy and Sempra Infraestructura intend to collaborate on the construction of a new gas pipeline between Sonora and Baja California.

The CFE announced Tuesday that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the two companies “to move forward in a potential strategic alliance for the joint development of infrastructure for the transport of natural gas” between the two northern states.

Carlos Slim and Manuel Bartlett
Manuel Bartlett, director of CFE (left) and Carlos Slim, owner of Grupo Carso, with representatives from Sempra Infraestructura at the signing of the memorandum. (@CFE_MX Twitter)

One objective of the project is to increase the CFE’s electricity generation capacity in Sonora and Baja California, the state-owned firm said in a statement.

Another is to “boost the natural gas industry in the northwestern region of the republic, supporting the country’s energy security and the objectives of the Mexican government.”

The CFE said that the proposed pipeline would be approximately 450 kilometers long and interconnect with the existing Samalayuca–Sásabe and Sásabe-Guaymas lines.

Carso Energy, a subsidiary of Carlos Slim’s Grupo Carso conglomerate, owns the Samalayuca–Sásabe pipeline, while Sempra Infraestructura, a subsidiary of San Diego-based energy infrastructure company Sempra, owns the Sásabe-Guaymas line.

The new pipeline would “enable the delivery of natural gas to several [electricity] generation plants that will be located between Sásabe, Sonora, and Algodones, Baja California,” the CFE said.

“… In addition, this strategic alliance would allow the CFE to optimize the natural gas transport system … with the objective of offering the region’s CFE generation plants, factories and consumers a safer, more efficient, more competitive and more reliable supply of natural gas,” the public utility said.

It noted that the agreement it signed with Carso and Sempra is “preliminary and non-binding” and that the execution of the proposed project is dependent on the outcome of feasibility studies, the obtainment of permits, the signing of engineering and construction contracts and the availability of funding, among other factors.

In 2020, then Baja California governor Jaime Bonilla accused the CFE of abandoning the state as it faced a shortage of electricity.

Baja California, which is not connected to the national energy grid, is set to benefit from the commencement of operations of a new US $1.6 billion CFE-built solar energy plant in Puerto Peñasco, Sonora.

Officials said earlier this month that the plant would come online in April, while the construction of a transmission line to send power to Baja California was approved by the federal Environment Ministry in January.

Mexico News Daily 

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