Opening up of Mexican energy market promising for CHP

Mexican energy reform, which is overseeing the breakup of state utility CFE as oil giant Pemex, is likely to provide more opportunities for CHP.

CFE has announced it will offer $2.8 billion in natural gas and electricity project contracts by the end of 2014 in a bid to bolster the Mexican economy. Part of the plans include two natural gas pipelines along the US/Mexico border and two combined-cycle power plants as Mexico looks to leverage robust U.S. natural gas assets to lower electricity rates.

US-based CHP specialists are already demonstrating interest. Earlier this month, Tecogen disclosed that its sales rep Calfrost de Mexico has sold two of its Tecochill CH-400x DTx Series chillers for use at an existing plant in Tamaulipas, Mexico of an unnamed “major” US-headquartered manufacturer of home fixtures.
Mexican flag image
The DTx series is the larger line of Tecogen chillers, using two engines for up to 400 tons of cooling capacity. The units will be put to use as part of a large expansion of the facility in an effort to contain costs, lower emissions and hedge higher electricity rates.

Meanwhile GE has a relationship with Pemex on many levels, including holding a minority stake (40%) in the 300 MW Nuevo Pemex Cogeneration Power Plant in the southeastern state of Tabasco, Mexico. The plant, started in April 2013, is the largest CHP plant in Mexico and the first ever power procurement from the private sector.

Tecogen is growing its footprint in Mexico at an opportune time as more large-scale projects meant to stabilize energy prices and reduce electric grid load create awareness and demand amongst the commercial and industrial sectors.

The technology is set to grow in importance as Latin America makes greater efforts to reduce emission standards. Energy reform in Mexico, whose global rank is number 11 for both size of population and carbon emissions, caught government support in 2012 with new laws mandating reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 30 per cent below “business as usual” levels by 2020 and 50 percent from 2000 levels by 2050.

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