TransCanada Corporation, whose $US12-billion Energy East pipeline megaproject remains held up in regulatory hearings and embroiled in controversy, continues to expand instead in Mexico with a US$800 million partnership to build a comparatively short-haul refined products pipeline.
The partnership with Sierra Oil and Gas and Mexico’s Grupo TMM will see 265 kilometres of pipe laid between a refinery complex at Tula, 70 kilometres north of Mexico City, and Tuxpan on the Gulf of Mexico, where TransCanada will also build a port facility. The company expects 100,000 barrels per day of refined petroleum to flow through the pipelines, which will run parallel to a natural gas line the company is already building at a cost of $500 million.
TransCanada reported a $2.5 billion quarterly loss, accompanied by hundreds of layoffs, in February. Since then, however, it has sold off other assets, including in clean energy, in order to ramp up its investments in Mexico.
TransCanada has been among the most active Canadian companies taking advantage of reforms initiated in 2013 by Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto to relax the monopoly grip of state-owned Pemex (Petroleos Mexicanos) on the country’s oil and gas industry by allowing limited private participation in the sector. The nation’s first gas stations not operated by Pemex are expected to open later this year in Mexico City.