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Businesses cheer promise of power grid fixes, but have questions

Leaders of hotel and restaurant sectors will press government for details

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Leaders of the local business sector celebrated Saturday’s presidential announcement of a new power plant on the Yucatan Peninsula.

But they also asked for details, questioning the financial viability of the promise. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, touring Merida, made the surprise announcement in the wake of several large-scale blackouts here.

AMLO also guaranteed an ample supply of natural gas to the region. That would keep energy plants at capacity, as well as supply factories and some new homes with a relatively economical power source. The business community will hold him to that promise, said Yucatan’s president of the Mexican Association of Hotels, Héctor Navarrete Medina.

Natural gas will most likely flow through Mayakan gas pipeline, which will allow the region to be integrated into the National Gas Pipeline System.

The region depends on a trio of power plants; a new one hasn’t been built in 30 years, said Lopez Obrador. A thermoelectric power plant would be ideal for the industrial sector, said Navarrete Medina.

“Of course, thermoelectric would be incredible for us. We could have a lot more energy and we would be completely independent on the subject. If we become independent, the blackouts are over,” said Navarrete Medina.

He described the private sector as feeling “hopeful.”

The leader of the restaurant guild, Alejandra Pacheco Montero, said that the announcements indicate that the demands of the business sector were heard. 

Pacheco Montero also echoed the demand that the business community be part of a dialog on the project so that “they are not counterproductive.” The state’s investments in solar and wind energy should not be forgotten, she said.

Both business leaders said they will press the government for more information.

“We will continue insisting; the sooner the realization [of the projects] is possible, the better the benefits on economic and social issues. Do not forget that 80 percent of companies in Yucatan are small and medium. Strengthening them implies strengthening the economic and social part of the citizenship,” said Pacheco Montero.

Source: La Jornada Maya

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