Mexico Can Go It Alone in Developing Its Power Market, Montoya Says

(Bloomberg) -- Mexico doesn’t need foreign companies to develop its power market as it moves toward becoming self-sufficient in energy, Deputy Energy Minister Alberto Montoya said.

Foreign investment in clean energy is “a very important option, but it’s not an end in and of itself,” Montoya said in an interview Wednesday on the sidelines of a renewable energy conference at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico in Mexico City.

“Mexico can generate its own capacity,” he said. “We have to strengthen the capacity of the Federal Electricity Commission.”

Mexico plans to hold off on scheduling its fourth long-term power auction that it canceled three months ago until companies that have been awarded contracts in previous ones meet their commitments, Montoya said.

About 60% of capacity awarded in the first auction, in 2015, is up and running, while just 9% is operating from the second auction and no plants have been completed from the third one, he said.

“Why aren’t there auctions today? Because these auctions have commitments to deliver energy this year, next year and 2021 -- and we are waiting for it,” he said.

Mexico’s energy policies will prioritize local companies over foreign ones, Montoya said.

“Foreign investment is contingent on national policy -- not the other way around,” he said. “When Mexico decides to invite them, it will see a thousand companies wanting to come.”

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