As part of the proposal that he will send to the Mexican Congress, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador will include a provision that guarantees the state company 54% of the national electricity market, leaving the remaining 46% to private companies, the president said. at a press conference this Wednesday. The bill will include a constitutional reform that reverses part of what was approved during the previous Administration as modifications of the energy reform that also opened the hydrocarbon market. “It is not displacing the private sector, it is putting order because Repsol or Odebrecht cannot be treated the same as the CFE. [Comisión Federal de Electricidad]”.
“In general, what we are going to propose is that the State can take over 54% of the national market,” said López Obrador, “now the CFE can contribute 35% and has the capacity for much more, but its plants are stopped or underused because they do not allow the office ”. The president argued that CFE deserves differentiated treatment in the law for being a “non-profit” company, despite the fact that, by law, the parastatal is classified as a productive state company, which generates profits in favor of the Federal Government.
Questioned by EL PAÍS about the case against Whitewater Midstream, a US natural gas trading company that, just months after its foundation, began to win multi-million dollar contracts with an international CFE subsidiary, López Obrador has said that: “We are still finding lion contracts ”. Whitewater reported last week that it initiated arbitration proceedings against the CFE for non-payment. The Commission, for its part, assured that it is already taking legal action, both civil and criminal, against the US company.
In the previous government “they adjusted the legal framework, to loot, to steal,” said the president. The Whitewater case “is part of the same, the director of the CFE is seeing it and it will be analyzed until what can be done legally and according to our possibilities,” López Obrador reported during his usual press conference.
López Obrador accused that the contracts with Whitewater, as well as with other companies, were signed during the Enrique Peña Nieto administration with “influentialism” and assured that they committed the CFE to buy gas “in an exaggerated manner.” “We have to take care of contracts that mean twice the gas that Mexico needs and that have to be paid for, even if we don’t use it,” he said.
This month the ruling of an international arbitration court based in London was announced in favor of a consortium of companies and against the CFE. The Mexican company must pay 260 million dollars for not guaranteeing access to the work of the Chicoasén II Hydroelectric Power Plant, awarded in 2015. López Obrador pointed out at a press conference that, for cases such as Chicoasén, they seek to reach agreements with direct companies to renegotiate contracts. “It is very difficult for the Government to win, given this situation, we have chosen to seek agreements,” he concluded.
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