Mexico’s federal electric utility CFE has updated the progress of motor delivery and testing at the CCI Mexicali Oriente plant under construction.
CFE said in a statement on Friday that the approximate investment in the plant is expected to reach $379 million, adding that most of the 24 internal combustion engines have arrived.
Rated at 18.5MW each, total guaranteed capacity during the peak summer months is expected to be 429MW, with assembly, testing and commissioning to be completed by May 15, 2023, said CFE.
The natural gas generating plant is expected to play a critical role in preventing power outages that plague the Baja California Peninsula, which is largely isolated from the National Electric Grid (SEN).
During the summer months, the plant will operate continuously, meeting the high demand for electricity in the region, when temperatures can reach 50°C. The rest of the year, it will be used to provide grid balancing service.
The plant is located near Mexicali in the state of Baja California, approximately 170 km east of Tijuana and just south of the US border with Calexico. Although it runs primarily on gas, it will have the option of using liquid fuel as a backup.
Built in Trieste, Italy by Wärtsilä, engine trials were completed in August and the last arrived at the port of Ensenada, Baja California in September.
“To date, 19 engines have been transferred overland” to Mexicali, with the last of 24 due to arrive on October 13, CFE said.
The utility’s distribution subsidiary reported progress in efforts to upgrade and repair distribution lines, transformers and other infrastructure.
The recovered energy helped boost revenues by 3.43 billion pesos ($171 million) in August compared to the previous year, CFE Distribución directors reported.
In addition, the modernization of 1,060 km of transmission lines allowed the sale of 156 GWh worth 306 million pesos.
Similarly, efforts to legalize irregular connections in August would have recovered 86 GWh or 170 million pesos in revenue.
The completion of 432 electrical infrastructure reinforcement works has avoided losses of 74 GWh, according to the company.
The subsidiary reports 3,443 projects underway in August for an investment valued at 2.48 billion pesos, supported by resources from the Universal Electricity Service Fund (FSUE).