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The Secretary of Energy and Chairman of the Board of the CFE, Mexico’s Federal Electricity Commission, Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, and its Chief Executive, Enrique Ochoa Reza, have announced the start of the tender processes for 24 electric and natural gas infrastructure projects with a total estimated investment of US$9.836bn. These involve eight natural gas pipeline projects; four power plants; three transmission line and substation projects; and nine power distribution projects. These projects will add 2,385 km to the gas pipeline network, 1,442 MW to the installed capacity of the National Electrical System, 122 km to the transmission grid and 2,962 to the distribution network.

Transparencia Mexicana will accompany the bidding processes of the eight gas pipelines, the geothermal plant and the fifth phase of the losses reduction project. The other projects will have benefit from a social witness appointed by Mexico’s Civil Service Secretariat. And this is despite the costs involved as the CFE is not required to involve this entity in the process.

At the event organised to present these tenders, the CFE’s Chief Executive commented that thanks to the Energy Reform, the Federal Electricity Commission has entered a new phase as the State power utility with the primary objective of offering a better quality and more environmentally-friendly energy service at lower cost. He added that to achieve this goal, it is essential to have a modern energy generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure in addition to sufficient gas pipelines to transmit natural gas.

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Dr. Ochoa Reza explained that these gas pipelines, together with the 11 that are already under construction and undergoing the tender process, the CFE in conjunction with PEMEX, coordinated by the Energy Secretariat, will comply with the target established by the National Infrastructure Programme to increase the National Gas Pipelines System by 75% during the term of office of President Enrique Peña Nieto.

The Secretary of Energy, Pedro Joaquín Coldwell added that the new gas pipelines will cover the energy needs of the central, eastern and western regions of the country.
He highlighted that this gas pipeline grid will connect the main industrial and commercial areas of the Republic, thus resulting in a costs reduction. According to the Secretary, this will make businesses more competitive and the country as a whole more attractive for the location of new factories.
The event, that was held in the Auditorium at CFE, was also attended by Emilio Lozoya Austin, CEO of Pemex; César Emiliano Hernández Ochoa, Under-Secretary of Electricity; and David Suárez, Director General of CENAGAS, the National Control Center for National Gas.

The details of the project tenders are as follows:

Gas pipelines

Tula – Villa de Reyes Gas Pipeline. 280 km long. Capacity 550 MCF/D. Investment US$420m. Prebases publication June 2015; commercial operation December 2017.
Villa of Reyes – Aguascalientes – Guadalajara Gas Pipeline. 355 km long. Capacity 1 BCF/D. Investment US$555m. Prebases publication July 2015; commercial operation December 2017.
Sur de Texas – Tuxpan Gas Pipeline (Offshore). This will transmit natural gas via an underwater route through the Gulf of Mexico, from the south of the state of Texas in the US to Tuxpan in Veracruz State, Mexico. 800 km long. Capacity 2.6 BCF/D. Investment US$3.1bn. Prebases publication July 2015; commercial operation June 2018.
Nueces – Brownsville Gas Pipeline. Will transmit natural gas originating in the south of the US and will supply natural gas to the offshore gas pipeline. 250 km long. Capacity 2.6 BCF/D. Investment US$1.55Bn. Publication of the Draft Application July 2015; commercial operation June 2018.
La Laguna – Aguascalientes Gas Pipeline. 600 km long with 1.15 BCF/D capacity. Estimated investment US$1bn. Prebases publication July 2015, commercial operation December 2017.
Empalme Branch.20 km long. Capacity 236 MCF/D. Investment US$35m. Prebases publication August 2015; commercial operation April 2017.
Hermosillo Branch. 48 km long, it will transmit natural gas from the Sásabe – Guaymas pipeline to the Hermosillo CCP plant (Sonora). Capacity 100 MCF/D. Investment US$68m. Prebases publication August 2015; commercial operation June 2017.
Topolobampo Branch. This will transmit 248 MCF/D of natural gas from the El Encino – Topolobampo gas pipeline to the North-Eastern (Topolobampo II) and Topolobampo III CCPs, in Sinaloa. 32 km long. Investment US$55m. Prebases publication October 2015; commercial operation March 2018.

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Power plants

Los Azufres III, Phase II, Geothermal Plant. Hidalgo and Zinapécuaro, Michoacán. This involves the construction of a geothermal 25 MW plant. Prebases publication May 19; conditions July 2015 and commercial operation June 2018. Investment US$63m.
Internal Combustion Plant (Dual), Baja California Sur VI. La Paz, Baja California Sur. This involves the construction of a 42 MW internal combustion plant with a dual fuel oil-natural gas powered engine. Investment US$105m. Prebases publication July 2015; commercial operation May 2018.
San Luis Potosí Combined-Cycle Plant. Villa de Reyes, San Luis Potosí. This concerns the construction of a 790 MW CCP with an investment of US$864m. Prebases publication July 2015; entry into commercial operation April 2019.
Eólica Sureste II and III Plant. The project is located in the municipality of Ixtepec, Oaxaca. This will comprise two modules with a total capacity of 585 MW. Investment US$1.079bn. Prebases publication July 2015 and operational start-up December 2017.

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Transmission lines and electrical substations

1902 North-East Substations and Compensation (3rd phase). Sinaloa. It comprises five transmission lines of 400 and 115 kV, 74 km long. It will include two 500 MVA substations and eight feeders of 400 and 115 kV. The project will be executed performed under the Financed Public Works format. Investment US$35m. Prebases and conditions published in April and May 2015; commercial operation March 2017.
1302 North-East Transformation. Coahuila. This comprises five 115 kV transmission lines, 25 km long. It will include a 500 MVA substation and eight feeders of 400 and 115 kV. Investment US$37m. Prebases and conditions published in April and May 2015; commercial operation March 2017.
Baja California Transmission and Transformation (5th phase). Baja California. It comprises two transmission lines, 230 and 161 kV respectively, and a total length of 23 km. It will include three substations with two 230 kV feeders and two at 161 kV. Investment US$19m. Prebases publication June 2015; commercial operation January 2017.

Power distribution

Substations and Distribution Lines 1920 (6th phase). Hermosillo, Sonora. It comprises an electric substation with a capacity of 30 MVA and 2 115 kV feeders and six at 13.8 kV. Investment US$6m. Prebases and conditions published in May and June; commercial operation October 2016.
2021 Project: Reduction in energy distribution losses (8 phases). 44 projects divided into eight phases. Its objective is to reduce energy losses in Campeche, Chiapas, Mexico City, Mexico State, Morelos, Quintana Roo, Sinaloa, Tabasco and Veracruz. It includes 1,217,399 meters; 36,612 distribution transformers and 2,962 km of transmission lines.
Reduction in energy distribution losses 2021 (1st phase). Morelos. Supply and installation of 16,048 measurers, 957 distribution transformers and a 37 km line. Investment US$14m. Prebases and conditions published in May and June; commercial operation October 2016.
Reduction in energy distribution losses 2021 (2nd phase). Sinaloa. Supply and installation of 5,727 meters. Investment US$5m. Conditions June 2015; commercial operation October 2016.
Reduction in energy distribution losses 2021 (3rd phase). Veracruz. Supply and installation of 20,456 meters. Investment US$8m. Prebases and conditions published in April and June; commercial operation September 2016.

On May 8 in Dusseldorf, Germany, the chain Aldi supermarkets, in partnership with RWE, inaugurated the first free charger point for electric vehicles with energy from solar panels installed on the building.

Charging stations are RWE/EFACEC QC20 DC models that offer an innovative fast charging technology. The charging process takes – depending on the vehicle – less than 1 hour, staying the vehicle autonomously for 80 kilometers. The underlying concept is to be a charging as fast as the purchase of the owner in supermarket.

This is the starting point for a much broader project: is expected by June, installing chargers in 50 Aldi supermarkets in the metropolitan areas of Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Cologne, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Munich and Stuttgart.

The Minister of the German Environment, Barbara Hendricks, congratulated the chain Aldi supermarkets for their exemplary role in the electric mobility area and encouraged other companies to follow the example.

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    TERMOSOLAR

    Vilfer Electric is a company specialising in the design, manufacture and plant installation of low- and medium-voltage busbars. The product range supplied by Vilfer Electric includes all types of prefabricated busbars, from small lighting systems (25– 40 A) to isolated phase systems (IPB) with voltages in the region of 24 kV/36 kV and intensities in excess of 20,000 A. Over 3,600 m2 fully dedicated to the manufacture of ISOBUSBAR© brand busbars.

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    La Comisión Europea aprueba la ayuda francesa al programa de investigación SuperGrid para el desarrollo de redes de transmisión eléctrica innovadoras

    The European Commission has concluded that the aid granted by France to the Supergrid Institut pour la transition énergétique for a research project aimed at developing a new generation of long-distance energy transmission networks complies with the EU rules on State aid. It will promote important European objectives such as securing energy supplies and protecting the environment without unduly distorting competition.

    Joaquín Almunia, Commission Vice President responsible for competition, stated: “Securing energy independence and reducing CO2 emissions in Europe are key priorities for the Commission. The SuperGrid project pursues these very objectives. The project will have an undeniable scientific impact, while the distortions of competition will be limited.”

    The SuperGrid networks will use high-voltage direct and alternating current (up to a million volts) designed for the large-scale transmission of energy from renewable sources, many of them off-shore, that are far from the centres of consumption. These networks, together with flexible storage facilities, will make it possible to manage the intermittent nature of renewables and will ensure network stability and security.

    In 2013 France notified its plans to grant a subsidy of €86.6 million to SAS SuperGrid, a start-up established to manage the public-private partnership created for this purpose. The Commission reviewed the aid for compatibility with its guidelines on aid for research, development and innovation (R&D&I), adopted in May 2014.

    R&D work will be necessary on long-distance energy transmission (including a new generation of cables), new transformers and storage and stabilisation technologies. The expertise of a number of partners (6 public and 6 private) will be harnessed to develop the supergrid technologies. If the R&D projects prove successful, patent licences will be sold to interested industrial firms on market terms.

    On completing its review, the Commission concluded that the SuperGrid project suffered from market failures justifying the use of public aid and that the aid gave enterprises a necessary and sufficient incentive to change their behaviour and carry out a project they would not otherwise have undertaken. Given the openness of the technology markets and the scope for exploiting the intellectual property rights arising from the project, there was no risk of competition being distorted.

    The global supergrid market comprises network electrotechnical systems, energy flow management systems, and cables. The project will also make it possible to target related markets, in particular the rail transport powertrain market and the variable‑speed hydraulic pump-turbine market.

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    Iberdrola Ingeniería has begun constructing the Votkinskaya substation, the first major project within the electricity transmission grid business in Russia, after being awarded a contract worth €32 million by RusHydro, the world’s second largest hydropower company.
    This facility will become the largest electricity transmission enclave in central Russia and among the most important in the country. The substation has been designed for receiving energy generated by the hydropower plant of the same name, which boasts a power capacity of 1,020 MW, and supplying power to a million residents living in the regions of Perm, Udmurt, Kirov, Bashkir and Sverdlovsk.
    Iberdrola Ingeniería will erect this new infrastructure on the same site as the current substation that was constructed in 1963 and, while still operating, has become obsolete.
    This IBERDROLA subsidiary will tackle numerous challenges with this project, since it will construct a 500 kV substation for the first time and do so in extreme weather conditions, as temperatures that could drop as low as -38º, while meeting strict deadlines: the substation should be operative by the end of this year.
    The new Votkinskaya substation will be housed inside a building and equipped with cutting-edge technology in GIS (Gas Insulated Switchgear), which is the most modern, secure and efficient on the market. This enables the facilities to not only take up 90% less space than conventional models while better adapting to the environment but also to incorporate the latest in technological advances.
    IBERDROLA INGENIERÍA will construct these facilities on the basis of the experience acquired commissioning state-of-the-art substations of this sort throughout the last 10 years in Spain. This experience has made the company a universal benchmark in technological renovations in the electricity distribution sector.
    For this Votkinskaya turnkey project, the IBERDROLA subsidiary will handle the engineering, storage, construction and commissioning of the infrastructure. The work will be undertaken with the old substation still in service, adding a certain degree of complexity to the work and requiring the establishment of a series of stages to hand control of the original station over to the new one.
    It is also worth mentioning the elevated level of quality required for this project by RusHydro, a Russian power utility with 36,005 MW installed power in this country, with nine hydropower stations located along the Volga-Kama river, wind farms and dozens of mini-hydropower stations.

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