Parques Ecologicos sets new construction date

Tuesday, December 2, 2003

Mexico's Parques Ecologicos has moved the construction start to end-2004 for its US$100mn, 103MW wind power project in Oaxaca state as it works to finalize financing, an official told BNamericas.

"Pioneer projects are always tougher at the beginning, and the wind sector is not fully developed in Mexico," project official Emilio Marconel said when asked about the delay. "In Spain, the industry is very developed, and the banks know exactly how things work." The original date for construction start-up had been the beginning of this year.

Marconel serves as alternative energies director of Spain's PSI Ecuacion de Onda, which owns 60% of Parques Ecologicos. Mexican firms make up the balance.

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Project leaders are working with Spain's export bank Expansion Exterior to secure private funding, and are confident financial close will happen next year.

Construction, expected to last 18 months, will start only once financing is secured, Marconel said. Parques Ecologicos has split the project into three phases, starting with 20MW, moving up to 50MW, and ending with total capacity of 103MW, though it does not plan to pause work between stages.

Mexico's federal energy regulator CRE has approved the plan, and Parques Ecologicos is negotiating a power purchase agreement (PPA) with a large Mexican company, Marconel said, declining to identify the potential client.

According to CRE information, potential clients are the Salina Cruz and Minatitlan refineries, and the Morelos and Pajaritos petrochemical complexes of state oil company Pemex, plus the Apasco cement company, steelmaker Hylsa, the San Angel corporation and Volkswagen's auto part plant in Puebla.

Parques Ecologicos will build the project at La Ventosa in Oaxaca, where plant capacity will range from 47-49% and winds travel at speeds in excess of 8m/s. Planners have not finalized turbine or generator designs.