Sempra Energy's 81%-owned Mexican energy infrastructure company on Tuesday was awarded a $108 million natural gas transportation contract by state-owned Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) for a power plant in Chihuahua scheduled for completion in early 2017.

The project to be built includes a header facility with 3 Bcf/d capacity and a 14-mile pipeline with 1.13 Bcf/d capacity that would supply gas to CFE's Norte III combined-cycle generation plant. The pipeline is to interconnect with three new pipelines into the country, Gasoductos de Chihuahua, Tarahumara and Samalayuca-Sasabe.

Sempra Infraestructura Energetica Nova SAB de CV (IEnova) won the contract through its Gasoducto de Aguaprieta S. de RL de CV subsidiary, which signed the 25-year capacity deal with CFE.

Last fall, IEnova was awarded another contract to build a 1.4 Bcf/d capacity gas transmission line to fuel other CFE generation plants. IEnova is to build and operate the gas transmission line from Ojinaga to El Encino in Chihuahua (see Daily GPINov. 25, 2014).

The latest win south of the border for the Sempra unit underscores a "capacity and experience to generate value," said IEnova CEO Carlos Ruiz Sacristan.

As of last year, IEnova had $3.5 billion of operating assets and projects under construction in Mexico, making it one of the largest private energy companies in the country. IEnova claims to be the first energy infrastructure company listed on the Mexican Stock Exchange.

Since the initial public offering of IEnova nearly three years ago, San Diego-based Sempra senior executives have been bullish about prospects in Mexico, where a number of major gas projects have been completed over the past decade.

Mexico last year opened the energy sector to private investment, with an eye on building its natural gas and oil reserves (see Daily GPIAug. 8, 2014).