Saturday, July 17, 2010

Power Plants In Mexico

This is taken from Power Magazine. Very interesting information.

Mexico relies on combined-cycle plants, primarily running on gas, to supply its base load. As Figure 1 shows, natural gas is the most prominent energy source. The Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) has invested considerable capital in converting its existing combined-cycle plants from running on fuel oil to running on natural gas.

1. Energy sources for Mexico’s electricity generation. Source: LVHS

This conversion to natural gas has encouraged investments in liquefied natural gas (LNG), resulting in the CFE becoming the largest shipper and consumer of LNG in Mexico.

To date there are three major LNG projects: in the cities of Ensenada, Altamira, and Manzanillo. The U.S. company Sempra Energy is operating a $975 million LNG receipt terminal that has the capacity to process up to 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. The LNG is designed to supply the needs of Baja California, with the excess being sold to the international market. Regional Vice President, External Affairs of Sempra Mexico, Tania Ortiz Mena, argues that Sempra’s role has been crucial in the regasification of Baja California: "California Baja has gone from being a gas importer to a gas exporter. We believe our inward investment, of around $2,000,000,000 just in infrastructure plays a major role in this."

Mexico is home to a 1,365-MW nuclear plant, Laguna Verde, which is currently being upgraded to increase its capacity by 20% (Figure 2). Enrique González, president and general director of Schneider Electric Mexico, is an advocate of this source: "Every year the technology gets better. It has significant benefits over fossils fuels. I believe the country needs nuclear energy."

Unlike the U.S., Mexico neither has an abundance of coal reserves nor a large number of plants that run on coal. Coal therefore accounts for just 6% of all generation. Shigeru Watanabe, vice president of Hitachi Mexico, claims that the CFE intends to tender two 700-MW coal-fired plants in the future. He argues that after a long period of building combined-cycle plants there is a need for diversification in the type of power plants being built.

On the renewables front, large-scale hydro provides about 20% of all generation, but nonconventional renewables amount for a very small percentage — around 2.2%.

You can read more here at PowerMag

1 comment:

  1. rocmoc n AZ/BajaJuly 17, 2010 at 5:05 PM


    So electric should be cheap if there were not so many parasites at all levels of Mexico's power industry including end users.