TANIA ORTIZ

Mexico 2020 | GREEN ECONOMY | INTERVIEW

IEnova builds power generation that allows industrial consumers to buy energy that is not only clean but also cost effective.

Tania Ortiz
BIOGRAPHY

Before being appointed to direct the company in 2018, Tania Ortiz was executive vice-president of development at IEnova from 2016-2018. She has served the company in various capacities since 2000. She studied international relations at Universidad Iberoamericana and has a master's in the same subject from Boston University.

What are the factors behind your decision to remain bullish with your investments during uncertain market times?
IEnova has been investing in Mexico for over 20 years, so we have a long-term view in Mexico. The nature of our business, projects, and business model is long term. We have a sustainable and resilient business model that has allowed us to grow the company over the past 20 years, and that is the reason why we will continue looking into the future for the next 10, 20, and 30 years. We develop energy infrastructure projects for Mexico that are relevant for the country's energy supply. What we do is important to Mexico in the long run; we build gas pipelines that allow gas supply to industrial and power generation, primarily to the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE). We build power generation that allows industrial consumers to buy energy that is not only clean but also cost effective. We distribute gas to over 130,000 households in Mexico and have lately been entering the refined products storage market. The fundamentals for business have been in place for the past 20 years and are still in place, and our investments continue to be important for Mexico in the long run. Mexico is going through a difficult situation, though investments are even more important to overcome these difficult times. Countries need electricity and natural gas; homes, businesses, hospitals, and industry need electricity and natural gas to continue to operate, create jobs, and be able to pay competitive salaries. Electricity, gas supply, and energy supply are critical to the economy because a country cannot function without an efficient energy supply. That is what we do, and that is what we have been doing in Mexico for over 20 years: guaranteeing an efficient energy supply to our country.

What is needed to be able to achieve energy security?
Energy security means ensuring an efficient supply of energy to all Mexicans. Efficient means it is clean, timely, and affordable. Energy security entails having the required infrastructure to ensure energy supply to all Mexicans. In order to achieve that, a combination between government and private investment is needed. The government has a critical role to play, first in determining the countries' energy policy, designing the specific regulations that are required for an efficient energy market to function and for energy infrastructure to be developed. In addition to the state productive companies, Pemex, and CFE, the private sector also has an important role to play in developing infrastructure and markets. I see both efforts as being complementary.

What main advancements are you planning for your Costa Azul export facility in 2020?
The Energía Costa Azul project is an existing regasification facility that we want to convert into a liquefied natural gas facility (LNG) to supply isolated markets in Mexico and other international markets. We have been working for several years now in this project and are in the final stretch to be able to achieve a final investment decision. We need to get across the finish line to finalize the contracts with our customers, and that should be close now. We are waiting to receive one final approval for a gas export permit from the Ministry of Energy (SENER). Once those things happen, we will be able to take the final investment decision in 2Q2020. The investment into the LNG facility plus an associated gas pipeline will be around USD1.9 billion.

What factors do you expect will create a boost in energy demand in the coming years?
Mexico has a growing population and middle class, as well as an active and growing industry that is exporting and requires efficient energy supply. Regardless of the short-term economic prospects of Mexico, many of the fundamentals for growing energy demand will be there.