May 21, 1999
The Mexican Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) today awarded the license to build and operate a natural gas distribution system in the La Laguna-Durango geographic zone in north-central Mexico to Distribuidora de Gas Natural de La Laguna-Durango S. de R.L. de C.V. (DGN), wholly owned by Sempra Energy International.
The La Laguna-Durango natural gas distribution system is unique in that it will span two states in Mexico, serving the city of Torreon in the state of Coahuila, and the cities of Gomez Palacio, Lerdo and Victoria de Durango in the state of Durango, Sempra Energy International will invest over $40 million in the project to reach 50,000 customers by the fifth year of operation.
"The La Laguna-Durango project solidifies our position in the Mexican energy market and fits perfectly with our strategy of becoming the No. 1 privately owned, fully integrated provider of energy services in northern Mexico," said Donald E. Felsinger, group president, unregulated affiliates, for Sempra Energy. "We have demonstrated our ability to build, design and operate successful energy projects in Mexicali, Chihuahua and Rosarito. This latest natural gas distribution system will extend our reach to a total of over 125,000 Mexican customers within the next five years."
"We are pleased to be on the leading edge of Mexico's efforts to expand energy options for its residential and business customers," said Felsinger. "As Mexican energy demand increases, and the energy markets of Mexico and the United States become more intertwined, we look forward to providing fully integrated energy solutions to even more customers in northern Mexico".
The geographic zone of La Laguna-Durango has a population of approximately 1.1 million, and is home to several energy-intensive industries, such as metallurgy, foodstuffs, textiles and timber harvesting.
Sempra Energy International currently is a partner in three other energy projects in Mexico: a gas distribution system in Mexicali, Baja California, that will reach 25,000 customer by 2002; a similar system in the stae of Chihuahua that will reach 50,000 customer by 2002; and a 10-year agreement with the Mexican Federal Electric Commission to build a 23-mile pipeline and supply gas to the President Juarez Power Power Plant is Rosarito, Baja California. The company employs 150 Mexican nationals and five full-time Sempra Energy International employees in Mexico.