Private companies are looking for new ways of investing in Mexico to deploy renewable energy projects and “green” fuels. One of the most recent examples is the construction of a second marine gas pipeline between CFE and Canada’s TC Energy, which will give continuity to another that runs from South Texas to Tuxpan, agreed upon during the Enrique Peña Nieto administration and built by the same company. .
TC Energy’s main client is the state electricity company, but the relationship became tense when the CFE opened two international arbitration processes for the construction of the Tula-Villa de Reyes and Tuxpan-Tula gas pipelines. After various conversations between the company and the CFE, both agreed to work together to improve gas supply in the country, particularly in the south, one of the areas with limited access to the molecule.
“We had to reassess why the company is in Mexico and why we want to continue and transcend in the country in a sustainable way. We knew we had to come up with innovative options,” said Andrés Rivero, director of strategic alliances and business at TC Energy, during his participation in the Energy panel: strategies to detonate the sector at the Inter.Mx Expansión Summit 2022.
The work will require an approximate investment of 4,500 million dollars and the costs will be absorbed by both companies. The state-owned CFE will have a 15% stake in the gas pipeline, which will gradually increase until it reaches 49%.
“(Both companies) decided to focus on a win-win. TC Eenergy won by entering this type of projects that were delayed and the CFE was able to obtain a reliable supply not only in the central zone of the country but also expand its reach to the southeast of the country”, assured the director of TC Energy.
This renewed relationship between the CFE and the Canadian firm is the turning point for future joint projects.
The sun rises again for renewable energy
Companies dedicated to the generation of renewable energies are looking for a second wind in the country. The supply of this type of energy has grown globally by around 47% between 2017 and 2020, thanks to the installation of more panels.
For Carla Medina, president of the Mexican Solar Energy Association (Asolmex), the issue of renewable energy is becoming more palpable in Mexico thanks to projects such as the solar park Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, which has been classified by the government as “the largest in Latin America”.
The solar park is the beginning of a new vision of the Mexican government more aligned with one of the objectives of the UN 2030 agenda, to increase the use of clean energy by 38% by that date, which will require an investment of 2,500 million dollars, according to data from Asolmex.
“I think that such a rich conversation and such intense interaction between the different powers of the Mexican State and different organizations at the international level on structural, environmental and socioeconomic aspects related to energy consumption had not been seen,” said Medina during his participation in the panel.
For Alberto Fabio, director of Banverde, Mexico requires three axes to trigger investment in energy. “You let the market forces act by themselves through the application of the policies that already exist; that the CFE invests in more transmission infrastructure; and that the Rule of Law is strengthened,” he detailed during his speech.
Hydrogen, the substitute for natural gas?
Israel Hurtado, president of the Mexican Hydrogen Association, commented during his speech that although hydrogen generation is relatively new in the country, the development program for the electricity sector, designed by the CFE and the Energy Secretariat itself, will allow this industry has possibilities of development in the country.
Hydrogen could detonate mobility projects, as an alternative to lithium; while in the industrial sector it could be a substitute for natural gas.
“We are strongly pushing the issue so that the industry can adopt this new technology and be able to reach the international level because Mexico has a lot of potential in this area,” says Hurtado.