Mexico’s clean-energy plans for Maya train hit buffers

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, October 13, 2022
Mexico’s clean-energy plans for Maya train hit buffers

The Mexican government has halted plans to develop solar generation capacity in the country's southeast to power the 200bn-peso (US$10bn) Maya train project on the Yucatán peninsula.

National tourism board Fonatur, which is in charge of the 1,500km rail project, announced on Wednesday that its administrative board had unanimously voted to dissolve the generation company it created over a year ago, known as Fonatur Solar.

The decision was taken after “considering, among other points, that the vocation of [Fonatur] is not to generate energy of any kind, since this corresponds to other institutions,” the board stated on Twitter. 

In August 2021, then-Fonatur director Rogelio Jiménez Pons said plans to build 200MW of solar generation capacity with up to 12 plants to help the project reduce emissions had been put on hold until the second half of 2022.

Five months earlier, the board had asked the finance ministry (SHCP) for 238mn pesos to fund studies on the development of a series of clean energy projects for the train on lands it owns or could secure.

After drafting an investment strategy for the projects, Fonatur said it would design tender documents that would allow it to move forward with building 10 renewable generation plants in partnership with state-owned utility CFE and potential lenders. 

Fonatur originally expected to have these documents ready by 2023, but the future of those plans now looks uncertain. 

The government hopes to complete construction of the Maya train project by the end of next year.

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