Spain's Iberdrola to invest $5 bln in Mexico over six years

MADRID, June 9 Mon Jun 9, 2014 6:35am EDT

MADRID, June 9 (Reuters) - Spanish utility Iberdrola plans to invest at least $5 billion (3.7 billion euros) in Mexico over the six years through 2018, Chairman Ignacio Sanchez Galan said on Monday, as the country opens its traditionally sealed energy market to private investment.

"A few days ago we signed a commitment to invest at least $5 billion in this six-year presidential term, $1.5 billion of which is already under construction," Galan said during an event in Madrid.

Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto is making his first official state visit to Spain since he took office in 2012.

Iberdrola, the largest foreign electricity company in Mexico, has already begun work on combined-cycle, natural gas power plants and wind farms and is eying solar power generators and the possible participation in gas pipelines.

Mexico passed landmark reforms to its energy sector in December, opening up a closely guarded state-run industry to private cash and ending the decades-long monopoly on power generation and natural gas production.

Galan also said Iberdrola would make its natural gas reserves over the U.S. border in Texas available to Mexico while the country reforms its energy sector. (Reporting by Jose Elias Rodriguez; Writing by Paul Day; Editing by Fiona Ortiz and David Holmes)

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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