Petróleos Mexicanos gets most of the bad press regarding the theft of its products, usually from its network of pipelines. But the state electrical authority does not have a very good record either.
The Federal Electricity Commission’s (CFE) boss said yesterday that 16% of the energy it produces is stolen or lost every year, a percentage that represents a financial cost of 50 billion pesos, or about US $3 billion.
But Enrique Ochoa Reza also said the electric utility intends to do something about it and has set itself some goals.
It plans to reduce lost electricity by 1% per year, dropping the percentage to 11% by the end of 2018. The long-term goal is to get it down to below 6%, a figure that the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says should be the maximum for competitive countries.
The CFE says most of its losses are incurred in the Mexico City metropolitan area in the Valley of México and stem from the now-defunct Central Light and Power (LFC), which was liquidated by then-president Felipe Calderón in 2009.
Its annual losses, largely due to electricity theft, ran to 30% per year or more. Losses in the Valley of México were down to 25% last year, of which 17% was due to theft. The remainder was lost through a poorly maintained transmission and distribution system, said a report in June by El Financiero.
One of CFE’s measures to reduce theft is the installation of new meters. Over the next 12 to 18 months it will install more than 1 million in the State of México, Tabasco and the Federal District.