MEXICO - Energy & Mining
Managing Director, Naturgy
Alejandro Peón Peralta is an engineer from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) with over 20 years of experience in the energy sector. In July 2021, he was appointed Managing Director of Naturgy in Mexico, responsible for managing and developing electricity generation projects and natural gas distribution systems. He promotes the development of this important energy source in more than 52 cities where the company has a presence.
Within the household market we have observed more stability than in previous years because people spent more time at home. The normal service was consolidated as a commodity within the household market. In the hospitality sector, we observed that volume declined in hotels and restaurants compared to the household market. Natural gas services—provided by pipelines such as ours—was more valued during the lockdown compared to other options such as propane tanks—commonly used in Mexico that require physical contact. Due to the social distancing, we launched an app that enabled our clients to pay directly without going to a facility or a payment center, avoiding any service interruptions.
Currently, our focus is Monterrey and Mexico City. We have almost 600,000 customers in Mexico City and 800,000 in Monterrey. In the latter, there is, what we call, a culture of natural gas, meaning people is used to be connected to the network, in contrast to other areas of the country where the use of tanks is common. Meanwhile, in Mexico City there is a growing understanding of the benefits of having natural gas pipeline distribution. Therefore, we still have a large potential in both cities. Some years ago, we launched a plan to develop downstream infrastructure for certain cities in southern Mexico. However, we depend on the availability of midstream infrastructure that it is still pending to be developed in the region. Additionally, due to the advance of the renewables, many markets could focus on those energies instead of natural gas. Therefore, we are looking into different options for the future in this area in order to promote economic growth and wellness.
Natural gas has been a key driver for economic growth. For several years, Mexican states with access to natural gas had a higher GDP than states without this infrastructure. In addition to the economic benefits of natural gas, we need to look beyond in terms of the design of energy supply for companies. Understanding current needs of the companies to optimize their investments in energy infrastructure, Naturgy has evolved from being a natural gas provider to an energy solutions company. We no longer approach industrial or commercial customers with the sole purpose of bringing them competitive energy, we want to partner with them to manage energy throughout the entire manufacturing process. We are focusing on providing added value to the industry via energy solutions contracts with a group of experts and partners that help us not only supply gas, but also to design and implement solutions to optimize investments and reduce total energy costs.
First is the deployment of the infrastructure in Mexico City, as we are currently developing a distribution system to build local networks across the city. The second is related to public transportation using natural gas, which is a great and sustainable business opportunity in Monterrey and Mexico City. In terms of industrial transformation, we are linked to the Industry 4.0 by providing natural gas for key operations. For example, we are about to start supplying natural gas to what will be the most important cellphones data center in Latin America. In the coming months, we are not only focusing on customer service, but also strengthening our company identity. We have come up with an extremely ambitious plan in terms of digital transformation. As you can see, our projects are focused on enhancing the potential of energy solutions, supporting the transformation of mobility in cities and industrial development with access to gas, as well as simplifying our clients’ daily lives.
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