Dubai investment firm Abraaj has announced it has invested in a 111 MW natural gas-fired power plant in Chihuahua, Mexico.
The investment represents the first phase of Abraaj’s plan to develop a 500 MW natural gas-fired power generation platform in the country, the company said in a statement.
It added that the investment was made through an Abraaj-managed fund focusing on opportunities in Mexico.
Abraaj said it has partnered with Emerging America, a Mexican firm that is developing natural gas-fired projects.
The power plant, which is being financed with debt from local banks Banorte and Nafinsa, is expected to commence operations at the beginning of 2019.
Abraaj said the Mexican power sector continues to grow rapidly, underpinned by an increasing demand for power from the manufacturing sector and a growing middle class. The Mexican Secretariat of Energy estimates that 55 GW of additional capacity will be required in the next 15 years to meet growth in demand.
The government has implemented a framework with a target to achieve clean energy generation of 35 percent by 2024 and 50 percent by 2050.
Saad Zaman, partner at The Abraaj Group, said: “This plant represents the first of many investments that Abraaj intends to carry out in the Mexican energy infrastructure sector. We have an advanced pipeline of attractive projects and will leverage our global energy expertise to develop complementary natural gas-fired and renewable energy platforms.
"Buoyed by a strong regulatory framework, the Mexican energy infrastructure sector is a long-term and sustainable investment opportunity for Abraaj. We are delighted to partner with Emerging America to deliver efficient and more affordable power to the country.”
Daniel Gutierrez, CEO at Emerging America, added: "We are excited to partner with The Abraaj Group to generate enormous value for the Mexican electricity market. With this partnership we will have a meaningful impact on the local economy by generating savings to consumers and bringing more efficient technologies to the Mexican system, and enable a higher penetration of renewables into the generation matrix."
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