Industry group leaders shared their concerns regarding possible power shortages during the General Assembly of the Nuevo Leon Transformation Industry Chamber (CAINTRA). Directors of companies and associations such as Alfa, CONCAMIN and Ternium were some of the most vocal in asking the federal administration for measures to enable cost-efficient energy with the certainty that regulatory practices will not be severely modified along the way.
Rodrigo Fernández, CEO, CAINTRA, stated that the local industrial sector is already facing a power shortage: according to a survey, 67 percent of companies in the state that hoped to increase their electricity consumption had faced setbacks due to CFE. “With certainty and clear regulation, it would become more feasible for thousands of companies to invest and generate higher-quality jobs, thus reaching the social and economic development that the country needs,” said Fernández to Tatiana Clouthier, Minister of Economy, who attended the assembly as a guest.
Meanwhile, Álvaro Fernández, Managing Director, Alfa, said that in the last three years, the government has not materialized any new energy generation projects in the state nor has it granted sufficient new generation permits to the private sector. However, he expressed the hope that the government’s proposed reform would not be approved as it stands, given the existing risks of power shortages and the underlining struggle to generate clean energy. José Antonio Abugaber, President, CONCAMIN, shared a similar opinion when he commented that the shortage is “already hindering the country’s ability to fulfill the energy demand.” Eduardo Sánchez Martínez, director of Energy and Mining Development of the Ministry of Nuevo Leon, revealed that the Northeastern state is the one that consumes the highest amount of electricity in the country and is the third-biggest power producer, too.
According to Máximo Vedoya, CEO, Ternium, the main consequence of the changes fostered by the government is frozen investment. Rodrigo Fernández added that by using older and less efficient power plants, energy costs will increase. This would negatively impact both the economy’s level of competitiveness and electricity fees for consumers, as more markets demand products manufactured with clean energy. “By producing power at the lowest possible cost possible, no matter who is producing it, electricity can be used and profited from via transmission networks. This way, [grid owner] CFE can gain more income and strengthen its finances,” he said.
Fernández concluded that if the energy reform were approved, it would only worsen an already precarious situation for the industrial sector. It would also increase the gap between Mexico and the US, as he claimed that electricity costs in our country exceed those in the US by 90 percent.