STORY INLINE POST
Q: Over its 25 years of operating successfully in Mexico, how has Engie’s development in the country evolved?
FR: Engie arrived in Mexico in 1997 betting, as an international company, on what was then a broad horizon in the energy market. We started as a distributor and throughout these 25 years, we have acquired a presence in 10 distribution areas in the country. We have natural gas transportation pipelines spanning just over 1,300km, located in key areas of the country, as well as two power plants, in Monterrey and Panuco. We started to get involved in renewable energy with wind and solar plants, too. Engie will soon have six wind and two solar plants in operation, totaling around 1GW of installed power.
We also have a great professional team with which we have worked closely with all government bodies in the industry, from municipal governments to regulators. Investments in this industry are never short term. Engie has, therefore, also worked to create close, long-lasting ties with communities that we coexist with as well as the authorities. We have paid more attention to environmental, social and economic sustainability issues because this will enable a future for companies.
Q: What would be the best example of the company’s social support in Mexico?
FR: Despite the subdued coverage of our social efforts, we have supported more than 200,000 people in the communities where we have a presence. Engie has done so mostly with a low profile because the main goal is not to show off but to share the benefits of energy projects. Nevertheless, we realized that by openly discussing these topics, we can encourage others to join the virtuous circle. We want to prove that companies can be sustainable, responsible and profitable at once. Engie also focuses on its governance, ensuring that work is being done correctly. This focus is also external: As we collaborate with local SMEs, we set requirements regarding governments. However, we do not impose these standards; instead, we accompany these companies and help them to learn and develop these best practices.
Q: How is Engie using its experience to foster and promote the energy transition in Mexico?
FR: Globally, companies continue to learn and face new challenges. The knowledge that Engie acquires from different countries is a key part of its added value. We learn from both successful projects and from those that were more complicated, which allows us to grow much faster and develop better. We can offer the country, the industry and our clients that know-how.
ALL: From the moment that an area can successfully supply its energy needs, we can speak of an energy transition because the difference in economic development between having and not having access to adequate energy is huge. This is why natural gas continues to be elemental, and why Engie is working to develop this area further.
Q: What opportunities can the company identify amid the expansion of Mexico’s energy infrastructure?
FR: For the expansion of Mayakan pipeline project, we are negotiating the commercial and technical terms. It is a project that matches the energy strategy and needs of Mexico, as it can provide much-needed natural gas to Yucatan. We have been present in the southeast since 2000 and we know the needs of the peninsula quite well. The area has often been overlooked and needs more capacity to safeguard its energy supply. Gas is crucial if the industry there is to develop, so people are anxious for the development to be finished. Engie will successfully conclude this development phase with CFE and, at some point, this project will materialize.
ALL: For the rest of the country, we are looking for organic growth. Engie is working on issues of operational excellence, customer satisfaction and greater recognition in the areas where we operate. Having Engie as your supplier makes a massive difference. Growth in Mexico goes hand in hand with smaller-scale projects, although we are fully open to more high-impact projects.
Q: How important is energy efficiency in relation to Engie’s new technologies?
ALL: Engie is sincerely committed to the efficient use of energy. Even though we are an energy company, we are also committed to using power rationally, so we are uninterested in our customers consuming more in the name of profit. Engie truly aims to take care of our environment; therefore, it ensures energy is used sustainably and consciously.
Rooted in this mission is Engie’s consulting business, which is dedicated to supporting services for industrial clients that need to be energy efficient. We offer a complete line of services that identify the optimal solution for the client while remaining consistent with our priorities: leading the energy transition and fostering more rational power consumption. Many of our clients have already done solid work to establish and reach sustainability goals. Failing to be sustainable imposes a heavy cost on companies.
Q: How is Engie working to make natural gas more sustainable?
FR: Engie is also looking at new technologies. We have carried out evaluations together with the Mexican Hydrogen Association, forming the roadmap for hydrogen development in Mexico. There are many challenges to overcome but we are on our way to laying the foundations for these projects. Hydrogen is projected to take off in the medium term in Mexico but biogas and biomethane will boost the sustainable energy industry sooner; we expected to put the first biogas project in commissioning in 2023, so we will take the first step to start the injection of green gas in our distribution system. Mexico must be aware that it has access to the best possible natural gas price. Democratizing access to natural gas will create a huge social and economic change in terms of development that reaches every citizen. While taking advantage of natural gas, we must then evolve and make its use greener. The first step can be taken with biogas and biomethane.
Engie is committed to accelerating the transition toward a carbon-neutral world, through reduced energy consumption and more environmentally friendly solutions. The company’s key businesses are in the gas, renewable energy and service sectors.