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Conventional power generation systems experience efficiency rates of 30-40%, while cogeneration systems achieve levels of 80-85%. PEMEX’s productive processes require large amounts of electricity and vapor, so the oil company benefits greatly from cogeneration systems, as they are a key practice for improving efficiency. Cogeneration systems allow both the reduction in power generation costs by approximately 30% due to the recovery factor in thermal energy (vapor) for productive processes, as well as the economic benefits brought about by clean energy.

In the aftermath of the Energy Reform, PEMEX is undergoing a structural transformation in order to become a productive enterprise of the State. PEMEX has followed a self-supply electricity strategy over the past few years, and it is now undergoing a transition by shifting from fuel-based to natural gas generation in its refineries, gas processing facilities, and petrochemical complexes by implementing cogeneration plants and obtaining an estimated potential of 5,000MW of clean and efficient electricity. According to Emilio Lozoya, Director General of PEMEX, the parastatal can seize 47% of the country’s cogeneration potential, which would make PEMEX the second largest generator in the country.

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. 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. A cogeneration station is being built at the Cactus gas processing complex to take advantage of the gas produced in this facility to generate electricity and vapor, while subsequent endeavors will work on the Tula, Cadereyta, and Salina Cruz refineries, totaling an estimated capacity of 2,500MW.

The Energy Reform provides PEMEX the opportunity to participate in the wholesale electricity market by selling electricity surplus resulting from cogeneration activities, while also benefiting from operational, environmental, and economic benefits. As part of its corporate transformation, PEMEX decided to create a cogeneration subsidiary, PEMEX Cogeneration and Services, which was formally constituted in June 2015. “PEMEX’s productive processes are energy intensive and use large amounts of vapor; therefore, cogeneration is a highly efficient way to cover these needs. 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,” shares Eleazar Gómez Zapata, Director of PEMEX Cogeneration and Services.

PEMEX will definitely not be a latecomer in the wholesale electricity market. The company has already moved forward in the design of a cogeneration project portfolio. For instance, the Salina Cruz cogeneration 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 parastatal’s cogeneration subsidiary is working on establishing alliances with third parties to develop projects, participating as an industrial partner. “Our cogeneration projects are currently being developed with international consortia with extensive experience in project development, operation, and maintenance, as well as commercialization,” Explains Gómez Zapata. 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.

#MEF16 will focus on a wide range of topics, including the development of the wholesale electricity market, the future of the energy matrix, project development and financing, the regulations regarding clean energy certificates, opportunities and trends in the natural gas transportation and power generation segments, and the development of talent for the electricity industry.

If you wish to be part of Mexico Energy Forum 2016, please contact Ana Cristina Garantón  at or visit Mexico Energy Forum website to register.

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