Spain’s Gas Natural Fenosa (GNF) has kicked off the construction of a natural gas distribution system in the municipality of Cajeme, as part of a plan to expand its network in northwestern Mexico.
Last Thursday the company broke ground on the project in Cuidad Obregon, a city of 400,000 that is the municipal seat of Cajeme in Sonora state. The system in the city is to include a regulator station and a low-pressure natural gas pipeline network running up to 165 kilometers (102.5 miles), according to GNF.
GNF is looking to add more than 10,000 clients and build a total of 192 kilometers (119 miles) of pipeline in Cajeme over the next five years.
The Cajeme project is part of a larger plan to build out the distribution networks in the states of Sonora and Sinaloa. Earlier this year, GNF said it planned to invest 1.2 billion pesos (US$66.9 million) over the next five years to build 751 km of natural gas distribution pipelines in the two states.
GNF holds 30-year operating concessions for two different gas distribution zones that include municipalities in Sonora and Sinaloa. The concessions have an exclusivity period of 12 years. GNF won the concessions in 2014 and 2015, in public tenders held by Mexican energy regulator, Comision Reguladora de Energia (CRE). It also has concessions for six other distribution zones, all obtained before Mexico’s sweeping energy sector reforms were enacted in 2013.
The Barcelona- based company currently serves 1.7 million natural gas customers in Mexico, with a 22,000-kilometer (13,670-mile) network that spans 13 states. Most of the customers are in the Monterrey area. The company also operates four combined-cycle power plants in Mexico, with a combined capacity of 2,000 MW, as well as a 234 MW wind farm.