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SEMPRA

MEXICO - Energy & Mining

Tania Ortiz Mena

President, Sempra Infrastructure

Bio

Tania Ortiz Mena is President of Sempra Infrastructure, leading the company’s three business lines: LNG and net zero solutions, clean power, and energy networks. From 2021-2023, she was the group president for clean power and energy networks. Before taking this role, she was IEnova’s CEO and a member of its board. Ortiz Mena began her career at the Sempra family of companies in 2000. Before, she worked as commercial manager for Refined Products of PEMEX international subsidiary, PMI. Additionally, Ortiz Mena serves as independent board member of the Mexican Stock Exchange and as president of its Corporate Practices Committee. Ortiz Mena holds a master’s degree in international relations from Boston University and a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Universidad Iberoamericana.

"The USD2.4-billion Ensenada project started construction in November 2021 and is expected to go into operation in 2025."
Sempra Infrastructure is looking at a long-term energy infrastructure development plan in North America, with a strategic emphasis on cross-border integration for a more efficient regional energy supply.
What role does Sempra Infrastructure strive to play within Mexico’s energy transition?

We are right where we should be. First, we are an infrastructure company and have positioned ourselves to support the energy transition by investing heavily in natural gas infrastructure, which has allowed the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) to switch from fuel to natural gas its power generation. This started 20 years ago by building infrastructure that allowed us to bring natural gas from the US to Mexico and CFE to convert its power plants from fuel to gas, but also many industries that were burning fuel, diesel, or LPG started converting to natural gas, marking step one of the energy transition. We are also investing heavily in renewable energy to supply both the CFE and industrial consumers. One of my favorite projects in Mexico is a cross-border renewable wind farm, the only one between Mexico and the US. We produce renewable energy in La Rumorosa, Baja California, and export that clean energy to the US. Finally, we are active in the LNG market, with a liquefaction facility in operation in Louisiana, and are building two more. One is in Ensenada, which is our largest project under construction today in Mexico, and the other in Texas. These projects will allow us to take this abundantly low-cost US gas to other markets that lack access to natural gas. Also, we are starting to look at what we call our net zero business line, where hydrogen and carbon capture facilities will have a key role in the reduction of emissions. In Mexico, we have one battery project in development. We are also looking into different types of hydrogen. The big consideration is how to make the energy supply clean, reliable, and competitive. This has a positive impact on the well-being of the population and making industries more competitive. The industry is investing heavily in R&D, and Sempra is looking for strategic partners to go down that road with. However, the issue is also played out at the governmental level, where for example, in the US, the Inflation Reduction Act is incentivizing the development of such projects. Governments and industry each have a part to play.

What is the timeline on your project in Ensenada?

The USD2.4-billion Ensenada project started construction in November 2021 and is expected to go into operation in 2025. We have linked the project to the surrounding community by contracting local suppliers, which benefits the local economy. We have a strong social investment program for the community through specific projects and are allocating about USD25 million to that end. When one is in the energy business, they must not only think about the next year, but also the next 30 years, because a project takes five years to develop, then five more years to build, and then there is a project lifespan of 30-50 years. So, the focus is on developing energy infrastructure in North America, both in the US and Mexico, to enable the energy transition. We believe we can achieve this by continuing to develop natural gas infrastructure with liquefaction plants enabling exports of our natural gas. One of the areas we are focused on is cross-border activity through the integration of the US and Mexican systems. The US and Mexican economies are almost completely linked. The automotive industry is completely integrated, as is aerospace. Yet, with energy we are not yet there. We are, therefore, looking at cross-border pipelines and transmission. It will be a win-win for the region, because then the regional energy supply can be more efficient, which once again promotes economic growth and supports the nearshoring wave. All of the new companies keen to invest in Mexico need to secure clean, reliable, and affordable energy, which is where we come in.

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