Underscoring its $2 billion bet so far, with more to come, in Mexican energy projects, San Diego-based Sempra Energy announced Tuesday it has named a Mexican investment banker, Carlos Ruiz Sacristan, to its board of directors as an 11th member. Ruiz, 57, once headed Mexico's national oil company Pemex as general director (1988-94) and has served in several federal government posts, including budget undersecretary. A partner in Proyectos Estrategicos Integrales, a Mexican investment banking firm, Ruiz also serves on the board of Southern Copper Corp., a copper producer in Mexico and Peru. (Sempra's global trading business, which concentrates on energy, also includes trading in various metals.) "With his extensive experience in Mexico's energy and finance sectors, Carolos Ruiz Sacristan will be an excellent addition to our board," said Donald Felsinger, Sempra CEO, noting that the company collectively has nearly $2 billion invested in a liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal that will open next year along the North Baja California Pacific Coast, natural gas pipelines and a power generation plant, all in North Baja California. It also has gas distribution systems in other states in Mexico. Prior to joining his current investment bank in 2001, Ruiz spent nearly six years serving as Mexico's secretary of communications and transportation. In that post, he oversaw the reshaping the nation's communications and transportation sectors to increase investment, broaden competition and improve infrastructure, Felsinger said. From 1974 until 1988 when he took over Pemex, Ruiz held positions of increasing responsibility at Banco de Mexico, and during that time some of his experience included serving on boards of several financial institutions and other public companies and commissions.

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