Energy infrastructure firm TransCanada Corp. officially opened a new 560-kilometer natural gas pipeline yesterday that runs between central Chihuahua and the Sinaloa coast.
The 20-billion-peso (US $1-billion) El Encino-Topolobampo pipeline crosses nine municipalities in Chihuahua and three in Sinaloa.
It will supply gas from Waha, Texas, to power plants and industrial and urban markets in the northeast of Mexico.
The 30-inch-diameter pipeline was first placed in service in July and has the capacity to provide 670 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.
More than 150,000 tonnes of steel were used for the project, on which 4,000 employees completed more than 22 million hours of work over a period of four and a half years.
José Carlos Borunda, director of government affairs at TransCanada, said the project is one of the most innovative and ambitious infrastructure projects in the world.
The company faced demanding construction challenges due to the geography along the pipeline’s route, which includes the Tarahumara Sierra.
TransCanada also faced legal obstacles as indigenous groups challenged the project on environmental grounds.
At yesterday’s inauguration ceremony in the municipality of Bocoyna, Borunda said that the project would bring economic and social benefits to the municipalities it passes through.
TransCanada signed an agreement with the state government, pledging to invest 45 million pesos (US $2.2 million) to build 1,445 rainwater harvesting systems that will benefit residents in six Chihuahua municipalities.
Chihuahua Governor Javier Corral said that with the opening of the new project there are now 2,000 kilometers of gas pipelines that cross 29 municipalities in the state.
He acknowledged the importance of investment in the energy sector for the state’s economy and stressed that the government would continue to work to foster investor confidence in order to attract more infrastructure projects, including those in the renewable energy and tourism industries.
Source: El Financiero (sp)