Tractebel de Mexico, North American subsidiary of the global energy and services business, Tractebel, announced Tuesday its entry into the high-growth Mexican electricity sector through its investment in a 245 MW natural gas-fired cogeneration facility located near Monterrey, Nuevo Le�n, Mexico.

Under the terms of the agreement, Tractebel will hold about 80 per cent of the project and Enron Corp. 20 per cent, a small stake remains in the hands of the customers. The $189m project is currently under construction and scheduled to go into commercial operation in late 2002.

“This project represents an excellent opportunity for Tractebel to increase its presence in the rapidly growing Mexican energy market,” said Dirk Beeuwsaert, CEO of Tractebel Electricity and Gas International. “This cogeneration facility will be ideally situated in a region where there is high demand for energy, available infrastructure, and potential for future integration with US natural gas and electricity markets. We look forward to providing clean, reliable, and competitively-priced energy to serve Mexico’s expanding industrial base.”

The cogeneration project will be located in an area designated for industrial use outside Monterrey, one of the largest cities in Mexico, and will be capable of producing 245 MW of electricity and up to 235 metric tons per hour of steam. Electricity will be sold to 38 different industrial installations in Mexico under long-term power purchase agreements.

The project holds a 15-year gas supply agreement with PGPB, the natural gas subsidiary of Pemex, the Mexican state oil corporation, and agreements for back-up power, wheeling and interconnections with CFE, the Mexican state power company.

Tractebel, the energy arm of French group Suez, represents installed electricity generating capacity of more than 50 000 MW and operates gas transportation and distribution networks in Europe, Latin America and Asia.

Through its Tractebel de Mexico subsidiary, the company already owns three natural gas distribution companies in Mexico.