Mexico City, 16 October (Argus) — Sempra Energy won a $570mn contract to build and operate the 530km first and second stages of the planned 1,000km Northwestern natural gas pipeline in northern Mexico.
The first stage, which will run from Sasabe, on the Mexico-US border to Puerto Libertad, in Sonora state, will cross the uninhabited Sonora desert and it is set for completion by October 2014. The second stage will take the pipeline south from Puerto Libertad to Guaymas and is slated to be done by July 2015.
A future tender will cover the third stage from Guaymas to Mazatlan.
The contract was awarded by state-run power utility federal electricity commission (CFE) to Sempra special purpose company Gasoducto de Aguaprieta, which offered CFE a price of $0.13/mn Btu of gas transported along the line.
The Sempra affiliate beat out bids from TransCanada, Mexico's Fermaca, US-Korean consortium Noble-Kogas and Japan's Mitsui-MGI.
The 36-inch diameter pipeline will supply gas to the CFE´s thermal power plants at Puerto Libertad and Guaymas, which currently run on fuel oil. CFE is also planning new gas-fired units at Guaymas.
It is also likely to supply future CFE and private-sector power plants planned in northwest Mexico.
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