Search terms: Ruben Almaraz
Recent changes to the National Water Law provide that hydroelectric projects with a power generation capacity of up to 30 megawatts do not require a government concession to use water from rivers or channels for electric power production, provided that such use does not divert water flow or affect water quality or volume. The National Water Commission has now clarified these criteria.
Amendments to the Mining Law Regulations on Coal-Bed Methane, which are expected to be in effect shortly, set out the key information that mining concessionaires must supply in an application for a coal-bed methane production permit. The amendments also provide that in the case of projects for gas for delivery to Pemex, the Ministry of Energy may refuse to issue a permit on certain grounds.
A new anti-corruption law is intended to penalise individuals and companies, from Mexico or abroad, that engage in unethical behaviour in the context of government contracts in Mexico. As well as private contractors that do business with the government itself, the law will affect dealings with the government-owned oil and power companies and the agencies that award infrastructure concessions.
Pemex-Exploración y Producción - the exploration and production subsidiary of the state-controlled oil company Pemex - has announced a call for an international public bid for an exploration and production project. For the first time, the process will incorporate the new incentive-based model contracts that were recently declared valid by the Supreme Court of Justice.
The Supreme Court recently upheld the legality of the new Pemex Regulations, allowing Mexico's state oil company to launch the first round of the new exploration and production contracts, starting with mature fields in southern Mexico. The new model contracts create an incentive to maximise production levels and are widely seen as first step towards more innovative sector developments.
Mexico's busy natural gas transmission networks face restructuring through the reallocation of capacity and provision of transportation services, with the long-awaited conclusion of the transitional period introduced in 1999. The plan is viewed by market analysts as a further step towards market liberalisation.
Oil company Pemex recently formed the Committee of Strategy and Investments and the Committee of Acquisitions, Leases, Works and Services. This brought into effect the 2009 Contracting Administrative Provisions, which govern services and public works related to productive activities. The provisions replace the more rigid government procurement laws that Pemex had to apply under the previous regime.
Public-private partnership (PPP) statutes enacted by individual states have provided a legal basis for a variety of projects, but Mexico lacks an efficient PPP framework at national level. Two bills before Parliament's upper and lower houses promise a new framework for PPP projects. Among other things, the proposal before the Senate would give government agencies greater latitude in setting the terms of a contract.