Mexico´s state-run utility CFE is promoting tenders for a U$3.3bn package of 12 natural gas and electricity projects. The projects cover a total of more than 1,000km (621mi) of gas pipelines, 1,000km of electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure and 666MW of new generating capacity. Under Mexico’s energy reform, the CFE has two years to adapt to a newly competitive market. The tenders are part of the firm’s effort to provide better, more affordable services.

CFE chief executive Enrique Ochoa Reza detailed the firm’s strategy to increase efficiency. “The first step is to keep expanding our gas pipeline system, the second is to restructure plants that currently use fuel oil so they can use natural gas and finally, to carry out tenders for the construction and operation of new combined-cycle power plants.”

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Among the main new projects is the 550mn ft³/d (15.4mn m3/d) Samalayuca-Sásabe gas pipeline that will run 528km from the Waha hub in Texas to the planned San Isidro-Samalayuca pipeline, in the northern border state of Chihuahua, and the Sásabe-Guaymas pipeline, currently under construction. The new pipeline will require an estimated $916mn. The CFE issued a tender to build San Isidro-Samalayuca last week.

The 250km Colombia-Escobedo pipeline departing from Webb, Texas, will deliver US gas to the northern state of Nuevo Leon, to supply the northern and northeastern regions of Mexico. The line will have 500mn ft³/d of capacity and cost is estimated at $450mn.

The 700mn ft³/d Tuxpan-Tula line will provide gas from Texas to western and central Mexico. The 237km line will cost around $350mn.

A $600mn maritime transportation network will be set up in Baja California Sur, to supply the peninsula’s power plants with up to 170mn ft³/d of natural gas.

The CFE is a regular LNG importer and recently awarded eight cargoes to Trafigura and BP to be delivered at the Pacific coast terminal of Manzanillo starting next month.

Initial bidding requirements for the four projects will be available next month, with operations expected to begin in June 2017.

A new 666MW combined-cycle power plant will be built in the western state of Sinaloa, next to the already existing Topolobampo 1 and 2 plants, adjacent to the Topolobampo port in the Gulf of California. The final details for the Topolobampo 3 project were released in November 2014 but the CFE will not issue an award before August 2015. Operations at the plant, which will be run as an independent energy producer (IPP), are set to begin in June 2018.

The CFE separately announced that US firms Energy Transfer Partners and Mastec, and Mexico’s Carso Energy had won a contract to build a US shale gas pipeline departing from Waha to the town of San Elizario, both in Texas.

The 290km, 42-inch line will have a capacity of 1.135bn ft3/d and is due to begin operations in January 2017.

The same consortium already won a 25-year contract on 9 January to build, own and operate a 1.35bn ft3/d pipeline linking Waha to Presidio, in Chihuahua.

The two pipelines will supply Norte 3, a 788MW combined-cycle plant. A tender for the plant was awarded on 13 January to Spanish firm Abengoa.

MEPF final website