San Diego-based Sempra Energy’s 81%-owned Mexican energy infrastructure company, IEnova, late Monday was named the winner in the competition to build a 1.4 Bcf/d capacity natural gas transmission line to fuel generation plants operated by Mexico’s Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE).

IEnova won CFE’s tender for the construction and operation of the gas transmission line from Ojinaga to El Encino in the state of Chihuahua.

Since the initial public offering of IEnova two years ago, Sempra senior executives have been bullish about their prospects south of the border, where they have completed a number of major gas projects over the past decade. Their enthusiasm was boosted further when Mexico’s Congress approved much-anticipated legislation opening the nation’s energy sector to private investment with the intent of re-stimulating oil and gas production (see Daily GPI, Aug. 8; Aug. 7).

Under the terms of the new contract, IEnova is supposed to provide natural gas transportation services to the CFE for a term of 25 years. The 205-kilometer, 42-inch diameter pipeline will have a design capacity capable of transporting approximately 1.4 Bcf/d.

Sempra said the project’s estimated investment is US$300 million and the pipeline is expected to begin operations during the first half of 2017.

“This is a result of our experience in building energy infrastructure projects and our commitment with the development of Mexico,” said Carlos Ruiz Sacristán, IEnova CEO (see Daily GPI, May 5).

“I would like to highlight that the tender process was conducted by the CFE with transparency and professionalism. This was a competitive bid in which five other companies participated.”