Access to the Sonora plant was closed yesterday. Access to the Sonora plant was closed yesterday.

Power plant closed a month after opening

Municipality shutters electrical plant for missing permits

President Enrique Peña Nieto was in the Sonora municipality of Empalme just over three weeks ago for the inauguration of a sprawling power generation facility operated by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE).

This week, the mayor shut it down.

Carlos Enrique Gómez Cota said the CFE had incurred several violations in the construction and operation of the combined cycle power plant, located at El Cochorit beach.

The municipality’s urban development and public works and services office found that construction permits for the site, issued in April 2015, expired last September, the project had no land use permits for the installation of transmission lines and the 2016-2017 environmental license was not renewed in time.

So yesterday morning an 80-strong municipal police deployment prevented over 3,000 CFE employees from entering the facility.

Last month, the El Cochorit plant was lauded by both the president and the governor of Sonora, who agreed that the state had the potential to attract even more investments in the power generation industry.

The facility includes the Agua Prieta I and II combined cycle plants and the Puerto Libertad thermal power station, already in operation.

After the ceremony, the trial runs for the Empalme I combined cycle plant began, along with the groundbreaking of a similar plant known as Empalme II.

The entire El Cochorit facility represents an investment of 33 billion pesos (US $1.9 billion) and will provide power to 12 million people.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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