Sempra Expands South of the Border
The Mexican Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) awarded the
license to build and operate a gas distribution system in the La
Laguna-Durango geographic zone in north-central Mexico to
Distribuidora de Gas Natural de La Laguna-Durango S. de R.L. de
C.V. (DGN), wholly owned by San Diego-based Sempra Energy
The La Laguna-Durango distribution system will span two Mexican
states, serving the city of Torreon in the state of Coahuila, and
the cities of Gomez Palacio, Lerdo and Victoria de Durango in the
state of Durango. Sempra Energy International will invest more than
$40 million in the project to reach 50,000 customers by the fifth
year of operation.
"The La Laguna-Durango project solidifies our position in the
Mexican energy market and fits perfectly with our strategy of
becoming the No. 1 privately owned, fully integrated provider of
energy services in northern Mexico," said Donald E. Felsinger,
Sempra Energy group president, unregulated affiliates. "We have
demonstrated our ability to build, design and operate successful
energy projects in Mexicali, Chihuahua and Rosarito. This latest
natural gas distribution system will extend our reach to a total of
over 125,000 Mexican customers within the next five years."
As part of its license, Sempra Energy International will acquire
about 27 miles of existing steel transmission pipeline for $7.8
million from Pemex, Mexico's state-owned oil company. This pipeline
currently serves 22 industrial customers with 14 MMcf/d. The U.S.
company is expected to take over operations of the pipeline June
The La Laguna-Durango system is linked to the same transmission
pipeline that serves Sempra's distribution system in Chihuahua,
with access to gas supplies from the United States.
"As Mexican energy demand increases, and the energy markets of
Mexico and the United States become more intertwined, we look
forward to providing fully integrated energy solutions to even more
customers in northern Mexico." The geographic zone of La
Laguna-Durango has a population of about 1.1 million and is home to
several energy-intensive industries, such as metallurgy,
foodstuffs, textiles and timber harvesting.
Sempra Energy International currently is a partner in three
other energy projects in Mexico: a gas distribution system in
Mexicali, Baja California, that will reach 25,000 customers by
2002; a similar system in the state of Chihuahua that will reach
50,000 customers by 2002; and a 10-year agreement with the Mexican
Federal Electric Commission to build a 23-mile pipeline and supply
gas to the Presidente Juarez Power Plant in Rosarito, Baja
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