Narcís De Carreras
Country Manager Mexico
Naturgy
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View from the Top

New Image, New Vision

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 16:07

Q: What is behind the company’s recent rebranding from Gas Natural Fenosa to Naturgy?
A: The main reason behind this rebranding is the company’s transformation along with its global operations. Our brand has undergone three renovations: a merger in 1992 between Catalana de Gas and Gas Madrid, followed by Gas Natural and Union Fenosa in 2008, and another in 2018. Through this process, we realized that we had been losing touch with the reality of both the company and industry alike. Having natural gas in our name even though we now not only deal in this energy source, but energy as a whole, no longer made sense. This is why we took advantage of our recent strategic plan launched in June 2018, the organizational transformation and the refocusing of certain business divisions, to launch Naturgy.
Q: What major contribution is Naturgy making to the Mexican energy industry?
A: Over the last few years our objectives have not changed much. We have been in Mexico since 1997 and since 2008 as an integrated gas and electricity group. The last 10 years have seen Naturgy contribute by becoming the number one player in terms of natural gas distribution, and number four as a private electric power producer, not only through combined cycle plants, but wind power as well, with our wind farm in Juchitan, Oaxaca.
Our most important contribution in 2018 was initiating natural gas distribution activities in the region of Sonora. We worked on this project intensively over the last three years as it was a new area for the company. Our top priority is the acceleration of our distribution activity because we believe that natural gas has a bright future in Mexico. Nevertheless, the penetration of this service is quite low. Natural gas consumption in the residential segment represents 7 percent of the total energy mix. Even the use of biomass in the form of wood holds a major share. The path forward is daunting, but Naturgy’s main goal is to offer a more reliable, comfortable and cost-effective service.
Q: What role is Naturgy’s GPG division playing in the development of the country’s electricity industry?
A: Three years ago, GPG had an installed capacity of 2,234MW from its power generation facilities. As a result of the technical optimization that has taken place at our combined cycle plants, the company has added 200MW to its capacity, and we have another 200MW in the pipeline. We want to develop greenfield projects in the solar and wind segments. The company is waiting to see the new administration’s strategy for the electricity industry, but Mexico has great potential in the field of renewables.
Regarding the development of the WEM, our experience has been good. Our main focus has been bilateral contracts with industry off-takers. The market is maturing and needs liquidity and continuity. In Spain, this transition took 10 years, so we cannot expect a big change in the short term. In general, from the electricity and gas perspective, the model derived from the Energy Reform has been very well-constructed. As for our own plans, Naturgy is still working on the final phases to achieve a relevant participation in this market as a qualified supplier.
Q: Looking forward, where do you see the company at the end of 2019?
A: Our goal is to have continuity in the development of our distribution network, specifically in important urban hubs like Mexico City and Monterrey. Our viewpoint is for natural gas to be on the agenda of every city that wants a profitable energy source with low carbon emissions. In this particular context, given the 20,000km pipeline network that Naturgy has developed across the country and the almost 60,000km of the industry, there is a great deal of room for natural gas to grow. The opportunity this network offers as an energy solution is already there, for energy solutions, the development of stations for vehicular natural gas applications, and more. This is an amazing opportunity and Naturgy is ready to be part of it.