Sempra Energy and the Mexican government have accomplished what California has been unable to do in siting Sempra’s Energia Costa Azul liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal along the Pacific Coast of North Baja California, Mexico, Timothy Alan Simon told his fellow commissioners at the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) Thursday.

The 1 Bcf LNG terminal, which cost nearly $1 billion, has only handled two test cargo shipments so far. Its gas output ultimately will serve power plants in North Baja and loads in the southwestern United States (see Daily GPI, Sept. 2).

Simon and California Energy Commission member James Boyd represented California at the recent terminal dedication. Simon said the facility is “generating a lot of excitement” in the weeks since it has begun operations. Simon said it gives the West “much needed access” to natural gas.

“In an increasingly carbon-constrained world it is critical that we make prudent investments in facilities that will allow us to diversify our energy supplies and address a central resource and reliability needs, while reducing greenhouse gas [GHG] emissions,” Simon said. “These are global issues that require concerted international policy development and implementation. This LNG facility is an encouraging sign in these ongoing efforts. I want to commend Sempra and the Mexican government for accomplishing something that we in the great United States, and particularly the West Coast, have been unable to achieve.

“This brings significant amounts of LNG into our energy supply. I never thought I would live to see the great nation of Mexico take the lead in an energy policy area in which we don’t seem to be able to find a consensus, and I would encourage all of my colleagues and all other government agencies with a dog in this fight to do our best to diversify our energy supply here in California., and to follow the lead of the Mexican government in bringing LNG supplies into the California market.”

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