Mexicos government is investing more than 150 billion
pesos ($11.3 billion) in natural gas to combat supply shortages
and strengthen its economy.
Critical alerts issued
to the manufacturing sector by state-owned oil and gas company
Petróleos Mexicanos SA de CV (Pemex) on natural gas
consumption might have led to losses of around 1 percent of the
countrys gross domestic product (GDP) thus far this year,
according to an estimate released this week by Enrique
Peña Nietos administration.
Natural gas output,
which totals about 5.7 billion cubic feet per day, "fell by 0.5
percent over the first half of the year," according to data
from the presidents first annual report. Imports of
natural gas accounted for 35.6 percent of domestic natural gas
sales in the first half of the year.
sector has been the industry most affected by the critical
alerts over the past several months.
The steel industry has
to decrease its production for every day of the critical alert
period issued by Pemex, generating losses of up to $150
million, according to national industry body Concamin.
Pemex issued 36 alerts
in January-to-November 2012.
In his first
state-of-the-nation speech on Sept. 2, Peña Nieto asked
for the approval of his energy reform proposal, which would
open up oil and gas exploration to private and foreign
If the presidential
energy reform is approved, Mexico would import 3 billion cubic
feet per month of liquefied natural gas through the Manzanillo
and Altamira ports until the end of 2014, according to figures
Peña Nieto confirmed that the government expects to
investment about 4 trillion pesos ($311 billion) in public and
private infrastructure projects over the next six years.
government has halved its 2013 GDP growth forecast to 1.8
percent from 3.5 percent due to lower domestic consumption and
weaker demand for the countrys exports.
A version of this
article was first published in AMM sister publication Steel