CFE calls for bids

Mexico`s Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) has opened the bidding process for the construction of four power projects totalling 1360 MW of capacity. Three of the projects call for bidders to build the plants as independent power producers (IPPs), and are part of the government`s plans to encourage private investment in the country`s power sector.

Bids for the projects — Altamira II, Monterrey III, Tuxpan II and Tres Virgenes — are due in the first quarter of 1999. The first three projects, each for 450 MW, will be developed by IPPs, while the Tres Virgenes project in Baja California requires construction of two 5 MW geothermal power plants. The plants will enter operation in 2002.

Some 13 000 MW of power needs to be added to the grid by 2006, over half of which will need to be privately financed. Ten privately operated IPP projects will be tendered this year representing 3600 MW of capacity.

The country is also examining its options for deregulation and privatization. Power demand is growing at six per cent annually.

– The CFE has awarded Union Fenosa ACEX the contract to build, operate and maintain the Hermosillo power station in Sonora state, northern Mexico. Hermosillo will be a 250 MW natural gas fired combined cycle plant.