Wind of change blows through Cemex

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Mexican cement giant Cemex plans to create an energy division to participate in electricity generation using natural gas and wind power for self-supply and sale to state utility CFE.

The cement firm, among the biggest in the world, wants a stake in up to seven electricity generation projects similar to the two it currently relies on, the firm's CEO, Fernando González, said at a Mexico City conference.

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The Monterrey-based company had announced in September that it would seek to increase its electricity generation capacity, without mentioning specific projects.

In April, Cemex completed financing of the US$650mn, 252MW Ventika wind farm in Nuevo León state, in which the firm holds a 5% stake. The facility is slated for 2Q16 completion.

Ventika is expected to supply power to beverage bottler Femsa, steel products firm Deacero, Tecnológico de Monterrey university and Cemex, with more offtakers likely to come onboard in future, the firm said.

AWS Truepower, a New York-based renewables consulting and engineering services firm, will act as independent engineer to support the construction of Ventika, which will comprise two 126MW parks.

González said the firm was exploring project possibilities and searching for partners with the requisite plant management knowledge.

"We have already developed energy generation projects in Mexico and in other countries under the self-supply model, because cement production demands a lot of power and there is not enough electricity available," he said.

In October, Cemex completed a 1.5MW solar project in San Pedro de Macorís in the Dominican Republic, the firm's first in the Caribbean.

BNamericas will host its 11th Southern Cone Energy Summit in Lima, Peru, on November 12-13. Click here to download the agenda.