Participants in Mexico’s natural gas market overwhelmingly expect their demand for the fuel to increase over the next 15 years, according to the latest consulta pública, or public consultation, conducted by Sistrangas national pipeline grid operator Centro Nacional de Control del Gas Natural (Cenagas).

Cenagas will use the results, along with demand scenarios presented by national oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) and state power utility Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), to help inform its 2019-2024 Sistrangas five-year expansion plan.

A total of 96 participants responded to this year’s survey, Cenagas said, comprising 55 industrial consumers, 22 power generators, nine gas distributors, eight marketers, and two producers.

For the survey, Cenagas classified demand into three categories: confirmed, additional, and new. Confirmed refers to demand that is already being supplied. Additional refers to demand from projects “that are interconnected to a transport system,” Cenagas said.

“It is the additional demand required due to an increase in production capacity of the project or contained demand that, due to capacity restrictions in the system, has not been supplied.”

New can refer either to existing projects that are not yet connected to the gas pipeline system and must therefore burn other fuels such as fuel oil, or to projects that are still in the planning phase.

Respondents expect their combined additional and new natural gas demand to average 4.076 Bcf/d in 2033, up from 1.589 Bcf/d expected for 2019.

Cenagas emphasized that the results reflect only the projections of survey participants, and not of the gas market as a whole.

Respondents from the power sector expect additional and new gas demand to grow at an annual rate of 17% to reach 1.304 Bcf/d in 2033, up from 142 MMcf/d in 2019. This represents the highest expected total and yearly average growth among all demand segments.

The results showed additional and new demand from marketers growing at a 4% annual rate to reach 1.395 Bcf/d in 2033, up from 822 MMcf/d expected in 2019.

Additional and new demand from distributors is seen growing at a 7% annual rate to 798 MMcf/d from 300 MMcf/d, while corresponding industrial demand is forecast to grow 4% annually to 578 MMcf/d from 325 MMcf/d.

For the consultation, which Cenagas conducted from March 4-April 12, respondents listed 572 projects or injection/extraction points from which gas demand is expected. Industrial and power sector respondents were required to submit projects, while marketers and distributors submitted injection or extraction points.

The survey results can be viewed here in Spanish.

 CFE To Tender Five CCGT Plants

 In related news, CFE in late April said its board had approved a power generation infrastructure expansion plan “that seeks to reinforce” CFE’s generation fleet via five projects with combined installed capacity of approximately 13 GW.

These projects include the 750 MW Salamanca combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) in Guanajuato state, a project “whose fundamental objective will be to generate at the minimum price and not simply think of the plants’ commercial profitability,” CFE said.

Reports this week quoted CFE General Director Manuel Bartlett as saying that the other four projects comprise CCGT plants as well. Construction tenders for each project would be conducted individually. The Salamanca project will be tendered first, Bartlett said, explaining that more details may be made public next week.

The Salamanca project will have a construction period of three years, according to Bartlett, an appointee of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.