Photo: ATCO.

Mexican energy market reform creates opportunity for Alberta utility

ATCO is expanding its operations in Mexico with the purchase of a 35 megawatt hydroelectric power station in the state of Veracruz for $114 millionCDN, part of the Alberta-based utility’s strategy to grow its business outside Canada.

ATCO subsidiary Canadian Utilities Limited has entered into an agreement to acquire Electricidad del Golfo (EGO) and the sale is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2018.

The acquisition continues to cement ATCO’s position in the recently reformed Mexican energy market, and is an important step as the company further develops a flexible and diverse portfolio of electricity assets to meet the evolving needs of its customers, the company said in a press release.

“The energy sector is changing, and we are playing a key role in enabling that transition for our customers around the world,” said Wayne Stensby, managing director, electricity.

“Our existing presence in Mexico affords us invaluable knowledge of the local operating environment, regulatory framework and community relationships, all of which are crucial as we continue to grow our footprint in this diverse and vibrant market.”

In commercial operation since 2014, power output from the hydroelectric facility is under long-term contract. ATCO will also assume EGO’s existing management team, whose local expertise will be important as the company continues to grow in the region, ATCO says.

The acquisition marks the latest milestone in ATCO’s growth in Mexico, where the company continues to expand its integrated offering of energy and infrastructure solutions.

In February 2017, ATCO announced that it had partnered with RANMAN Energy to develop an innovative and highly scalable distributed power generation solution in the rapidly developing World Trade Centre Industrial Park in San Luis Potosí.