Spain's Iberdrola and CFE agree to develop electric, gas projects in Mexico

Mexico City, Jun 30 (EFE).- Spain's Iberdrola and the Mexican Federal Electricity Commission, or CFE, have signed an agreement to develop electricity and natural gas projects in Mexico under the energy industry overhaul implemented by President Enrique Peña Nieto's administration, an executive with the Spanish company told EFE Tuesday.

The agreement was signed on Monday by Iberdrola CEO Ignacio Sanchez Galan and CFE director Enrique Ochoa Reza at a meeting in Mexico City.

The agreement is based on "an accord signed a year ago (in May 2014) by the two companies that called for investment of around $5 billion by Iberdrola until 2018," the Iberdrola executive said.

Sanchez Galan and Ochoa Reza discussed "the replacement of old power plants, which are expensive and pollute, with more financially efficient and environmentally friendly ones, the search for competitive solutions for storing energy, a key factor in developing renewable energy, and maximizing gas production in Mexico," the Iberdrola executive said.

The projects will focus on investments in more competitive and cleaner generation, storage of energy products and gas distribution.

Sanchez Galan, who is in Mexico for the visit by the Spanish monarchs to the country, and Ochoa discussed Tamazunchale II, a combined-cycle generating project in the north-central state of San Luis Potosi.

The Iberdrola CEO and the CFE director also discussed development of the grid, hydroelectric power projects and gas production.

Iberdrola, which has operated in Mexico for more than 15 years, is the largest privately owned electric utility in the country and trails only the CFE in size.

The Spanish energy company has assets totaling nearly $4 billion and generating capacity of 5,260 MW in Mexico, where it serves more than 15 million people.