Eleazar Gómez Zapata
PEMEX Cogeneration and Services
View from the Top

Cogeneration Improves Processes in Pemex

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 12:26

Q: How will PEMEX transition from being the first electricity consumer to the second energy producer in the medium term?

A: PEMEX has followed a self-supply electricity strategy over the past few years. In this sense, the Nuevo PEMEX cogeneration plant, which began operations in 2013, has an installed capacity of 300MW. The electricity it generates is dispatched across the country to cover the power needs of PEMEX facilities. After the Energy Reform, and once it achieves self-sufficiency in terms of power generation, PEMEX will continue developing new cogeneration projects to sell its excess power in the wholesale market.

Q: What opportunities has the company identified in electricity generation?

A: PEMEX’s productive processes are energy intensive and use large amounts of vapor; therefore, cogeneration is a highly efficient way to cover these needs. Since 2008, PEMEX has advanced in the design and execution of a cogeneration strategy to increase efficiency and reliability in its productive processes, reduce operational costs, guarantee energy self- sufficiency, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

PEMEX’s cogeneration potential represents 47% of the national potential, and the electricity generated can exceed the levels required in its industrial facilities. PEMEX has moved forward in the design of a cogeneration project portfolio, which contemplates its facilities with the highest energy demands, smaller cogeneration plants that will significantly reduce generation costs, and projects to transform energy leaks into generation opportunities. As part of its corporate transformation, PEMEX decided to create a cogeneration subsidiary, which was formally constituted in June 2015. Through this subsidiary, PEMEX establishes alliances with third parties to develop projects, participating as an industrial partner without investing its own resources. At the moment, alliances with four consortia for the development of cogeneration plants total an estimated generation capacity of 2,316MW and 3,530ton/h of vapor, which should begin operations in the 2018-2019 period. The planning stage also considers an additional generation capacity of 2,700MW; 2,00MW in cogeneration plants and 700MW in cogeneration systems in exploration, production, and logistics.

Q: What are the implications of the creation of PEMEX Cogeneration and Services?

A: The creation of a cogeneration division represents an opportunity to reduce vapor and electricity generation costs in PEMEX facilities, and to modernize and make its plants more efficient. It is also an opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and take advantage of additional sources of income through the sale of electricity. Our cogeneration projects are currently being developed with international consortia with extensive experience in project development, operation, and maintenance, as well as commercialization, supported by cutting-edge technology that ensures the best efficiency levels, and thus the lowest generation costs and environmental impact.

Q: How will the availability of raw materials help position PEMEX in its efforts to consolidate its cogeneration activities?

A: PEMEX and its facilities produce fuels that can be used for self-consumption, such as coke, fuel oil, natural gas, and diesel, giving the company a competitive advantage over other industries in the country. For example, a cogeneration station is being built at our Cactus gas processing plant to take advantage of the gas produced in this facility to generate electricity and vapor. The availability of raw materials leads to lower production costs and polluting emissions, allowing PEMEX to optimize its processes.

Q: In what way has the Salina Cruz cogeneration plant in Oaxaca been a statement of intent from PEMEX into fully venturing into the path of cogeneration?

A: The plant has an estimated generation capacity of 517MW, of which 120MW will be used to power the refinery, while the remaining power will be dispatched to the wholesale electricity market. Similarly, the 850ton/h of vapor resulting from the process will be used in the Ing. Antonio Dovalí Jaime refinery. The latter allows for flexibility in the design and scope of the project, as long as all the parties agree on possible modifications and these increase the profitability and efficiency of the cogeneration plant. Third parties also participate in decision-making processes regarding EPC, operations and maintenance, and financing.