CFE Transmisión Approves Investment Projects for 2020-2024By Cas Biekmann | Tue, 10/06/2020 - 09:04
CFE’s transmission projects for the 2020-2024 time period are planned to prevent interruptions in Mexico’s electricity supply, as well as to help accommodate the steadily growing demand for energy, the state utility reported in a press release on Oct. 2. Noé Peña, Director of Transmission at CFE, said the investment’s main focus is to be able to maintain cheaper electricity costs, guaranteeing the electric power flow, enhancing the national network’s reliability and modernizing the network.
On March 25, CFE’s Board of Directors, helmed by CFE Director Manuel Bartlett, approved 46 projects to be incorporated to the subsidiary’s portfolio for 2020-2024. During the same session, 24 projects for the Program for the Development of the National Electricity System (PRODESEN) 2019-2033 were endorsed. These included four projects of an investment of over MX$1 billion (US$46.7 million) and 20 projects requiring a lesser amount. Three further projects belonging to CFE’s transmission network were part of the endorsements.
In February 2020, Bartlett announced that MX$4.3 billion (US$201.1 million) were to be allocated to 193km of transmission lines and 140MW of transformers, mostly to fill Yucatan’s lacking energy supply, reported Energía a Debate.
For 2021, Mexico’s federal budget granted CFE MX$33 million (US$1.5 million) for Investment Projects of Productive Infrastructure with Deferred Registration in Public Expenditure (Pidiregas). This includes budget toward projects stemming from the previous administration, the construction of electricity infrastructure and acquisition of maintenance and equipment.
Ramón Basanta, CEO of ATCO Energía, underlines the importance of Mexico’s transmission network. “To balance the market, there needs to be more and upgraded transmission lines. The grid needs to have fewer technical losses and a digitized system to make it smarter. If you add renewables to the mix, you mount more pressure onto the system. It is key that the system finds an equilibrium between itself, transmission lines and the complexity of the power market,” he said earlier this year in an MBN interview.
One issue preventing CFE from making massive investments is its limited budget, an issue exacerbated by the government’s limited ability to invest heavily in general.
Tying transmission investment directly to the government’s budget through the constitution complicates a potential overhaul through private investment, told Jorge Mediavilla, Director General Mexico of Ingeteam to MBN. “This complicates a potential tender. Regardless of how it might finance an overhaul of the system, I think the government could benefit from spending on improving the system and developing projects regarding transmission lines, as well as building further power producing plants in different parts of the country. Perhaps it could boost competitiveness in this regard through concessions. The government seems to be keen to have such projects under its control. It is, therefore, somewhat difficult to find the resources to invest in them.”