Recent and upcoming investment in Mexico

Information collected from media reports over the last month:

  • Pharmaceutical: Mexican drug maker Chinoin invested US$12 million to boost production capacity at its plant in the central state of Aguascalientes, the company reported. Upgrades included acquisition of latest-generation laboratory testing equipment and construction of a new specialized building for the facility’s microbiology laboratory. (Reforma, July 28, 2017)
  • Automotive: U.S. auto maker Ford reported plans to invest approximately US$56 million to remodel its network of sales distributorships in Mexico. Upgrades for the 127 sales locations include WiFi, community centers and areas for viewing new models of sports cars. (El Financiero, July 28, 2017)
  • Wind power: Danish wind turbine maker Vestas, in conjunction with U.S. turbine blade producer TPI Composites, announced plans to construct a blade manufacturing plant in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas. The amount of investment was not specified for the plant, which is expected to produce blades for the V136 model turbine. (Reforma, July 20, 2017)
  • Automotive: German electronics and engineering multinational Bosch plans to open a new plant this year in the central state of Querétaro, the company reported. The US$80 million facility will produce automotive steering columns for regional OEMs such as Volkswagen, General Motors, Mazda, Honda and Toyota. (El Financiero, July 11, 2017)
  • Fuel storage: IEnova, the Mexican subsidiary of U.S. natural gas utility Sempra Energy, was awarded a concession to construct a fuel storage facility in the Gulf port city of Veracruz. The US$115 million site is planned to handle gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel. (El Financiero, July 13, 2017) Continue reading Recent and upcoming investment in Mexico

Changes to ethanol NOM prompt fuel market debate

Corn squeezins
Corn squeezins

Mexico’s Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) published modifications to the country’s fuel quality standard, NOM-016-CRE-2016, on June 26, 2017, stoking an ongoing kerfuffle among parties on either side of the ethanol-as-fuel debate.  Beyond the philosophical grandstanding, the changes to the reg have potential to impact the evolution of the fuel industry in Mexico and as is often the case, they are generating no small amount of confusion.

Over the past 10 years, national oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) has repeatedly announced its intention to introduce gasoline containing ethanol into the Mexican market, only to suspend the effort for one reason or another each time, most recently in 2015.  The standard permitting up to 5.8% ethanol as an oxygenate in gasoline has been on the books since August 2016, yet as best we can determine, gasoline currently sold in Mexico is oxygenated with MTBE rather than ethanol.  The recent modifications to the fuel standard include an increase in the maximum allowable percentage of ethanol in gasoline from 5.8% to 10%, clearing the way for the introduction of so-called E10 fuel.  The move comes within the context of Mexico’s energy industry reform, which allows for private production, importation and sale of fuels as well as the elimination of government establishment of fuel prices.  The elimination of gas price controls at the pump is currently being implemented by region, to culminate in nationwide free market pricing as of January 1, 2018. Continue reading Changes to ethanol NOM prompt fuel market debate

Recent and upcoming investment in Mexico

Information collected from media reports over the last month:

  • Chemicals: U.S. chemical firm The Chemours Company initiated construction on a new production plant in the northern state of Durango, the company reported. The US$150 million facility is planned to produce solid sodium cyanide for the Mexican mining industry. (The Chemours Company, June 26, 2017)
  • Commercial real estate: Mexican real estate developers Fibra Shop and Grupo Frel will team up to expand existing retail complexes in the coastal tourist locations of Cancun and Los Cabos at a cost of approximately US$111 million, the companies reported. The expansions will incorporate the companies’ “Espacio Latino” marketing concept, which highlights Mexican culture, folklore, gastronomy and design into the shopping mall environment. (El Financiero, June 30, 2017)
  • Gas stations: Mexican gas station operator Grupo Lodemo reported plans to invest approximately US$5.6 million to convert 16 of its stations from the government-owned Pemex brand to the company’s own La Gas brand. Lodemo seeks to close the year with 50 locations in operation under the La Gas brand in the southeastern state of Yucatan. (El Financiero, June 29, 2017)
  • Electronics: French automation technology multinational Schneider Electric reported plans to invest US$10 million in manufacturing operations in the northwest state of Baja California. Resources will support production of thermal magnetic circuit breakers. (El Economista, June 21, 2017)
  • Aerospace: U.S. aerospace composites and textiles manufacturer Albany International plans approximately US$14 million of investment in the central state of Querétaro, the state government reported from the Paris Air Show. The resources are expected to support composite manufacturing operations in the state. (AM de Querétaro, June 20, 2017) Continue reading Recent and upcoming investment in Mexico