Now AMLO threatens to cancel the gas pipeline

The government seeks to revoke the authorization that allows Ienova-TC Energy to use a strip of the maritime zone to operate the South Texas-Tuxpan gas pipeline. Credit: Special

The Mexican Government intends to revoke the authorization title that allows the Ienova-TC Energy consortium to take advantage of a 689-kilometer strip of the federal maritime zone for the operation of the South Texas-Tuxpan gas pipeline, one of the most important in the country.

According to the SCT, the consideration is equivalent to 7.5 percent of the value of the authorized good, that is, the occupied water areas.

The Ministry of Communications and Transportation (SCT) notified the companies that “it is not feasible to continue granting such authorization, until it proves due compliance with the conditions of the title” originally issued in 2017, effective until May 2022.

One of the conditions that the Infraestructura Marina del Golfo (IMG) consortium has allegedly breached is to provide as a guarantee an amount equivalent to one year of the consideration that must be paid to the Government, a guarantee that must be updated annually.

On March 18, IMG, the pipeline operator, accused the SCT of attempting to revoke the authorization title “in a very summary manner”.

The title allows IMG to use 8.2 million square meters of the maritime zone for the 42-inch pipeline, which in September 2019 began importing natural gas from Texas to reception points in Altamira, Tamaulipas, and Tuxpan, Veracruz.

Associates in IMG, the Mexican Ienova, and the Canadian TC Energy invested more than 2.6 billion dollars to build the gas pipeline, and in 2019 they agreed to modify the rating scheme of the original contract with the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), as required by its current director, Manuel Bartlett.

According to data from the Sener, as of February of this year, Mexico imported 5.686 million cubic feet of gas from the United States per day, of which up to 1.5 billion cubic feet pass through this pipeline alone, 26 percent of the total.

The official notice issued by the General Directorate of Ports of the SCT -affirmed IMG in requested protection- affects a lack of observance of the principles of legality, due to lack of motivation, legal certainty, and legal certainty in violation of the Constitution and the Convention American on Human Rights.

The gas pipeline was awarded to the consortium in 2016 after the tender carried out by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) for 25 years.

In 2019, at the request of the CFE, the consortium renegotiated the terms of the contract to level transport rates over the life of the contract, and extend it for another 10 years.

As part of the negotiation, it was agreed that the CFE would pay a fixed income instead of increasing rents, with which it was said that there would be savings in gas transportation rates of between 33 and 38 percent with the new contracts.

When asked about the matter, neither the SCT nor TC Energy wanted to comment on the matter. Other projects canceled The current federal government has already reversed other works and contracts:

– Cervecera Constellations Brands in Baja California-The New Airport Texcoco Airport – The Metrobús from La Laguna

And under threat are:

-Topolobampo Fertilizer Plant -Canadian mining companies Gold and Silver and First Majestic -Contracts for the operation of prisons

With information from REFORMA

The Yucatan Times Newsroom