Mexico plans three gas liquefaction facilities, eyes tender process

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A view of Mexico city's skyline during a sunset October 17, 2011. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

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MEXICO CITY, April 1 (Reuters) - Mexican wants to build new gas liquefaction facilities to export excess gas and will put the plants out to tender if he does not get commitments for their construction within a month, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Friday.

Lopez Obrador urged U.S firm Sempra, which has a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility by the northwestern port of Ensenada, and other companies to sign up the plan to build the facilities in the Pacific ports of Topolobampo and Salina Cruz, as well as another in Coatzacoalcos in the Gulf state of Veracruz.

Sempra had already said in November it was developing an LNG export plant in Topolobampo in the northwestern state of Sinaloa, but Lopez Obrador on Friday said it was urgent to get moving with the plants worth $3 billion to $4 billion each.

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"If Sempra and other companies don't respond in a month, we're going to put them out for bid, because there are going to be interested companies," he told a regular news conference.

The president said it was vital that Mexico become more self-sufficient on energy, and pointed to the importance of being able to export more gas to Asia, the Americas and Europe, amid supply disruptions caused by the war in Ukraine.

Interested companies would have a month to reach agreements on plans for the facilities with the Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE), Mexico's state-owned power utility, he said.

The president said he spoke about the LNG export plan on Thursday with U.S. officials, including climate envoy John Kerry, when discussing U.S. concerns over Mexico's proposals to give more market power to its state-run energy companies.

In a document detailing points that Mexico said it shared with U.S. officials, the government also proposed joint accords to modernize wind turbines, dams and the installation of floating solar panels in the reservoirs of the dams.

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Reporting by Cassandra Garrison Editing by Dave Graham and Aurora Ellis

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