Dubai-based investment firm, The Abraaj Group has revealed its intentions to build a 500MW gas-fired platform in Mexico and as a first step has invested in an 111MW natural gas-fired power plant owned by Emerging America (EMA).

The investment in the power plant was made through one of the funds managed by Abraaj which is focused on opportunities in the Central American country. The investment also marks the entry of Abraaj into the Mexican energy market.

Abraaj did not disclose the amount of investment in the power plant which is currently being built in the northern state of Chihuahua. Commercial operations of the gas-fired plant are expected to begin in 2019.

Emerging America CEO Daniel Gutierrez said: “We are excited to partner with The Abraaj Group to generate enormous value for the Mexican electricity market.

“With this partnership we will have a meaningful impact on the local economy by generating savings to consumers and bringing more efficient technologies to the Mexican system, and enable a higher penetration of renewables into the generation matrix.”

The power plant would feature 12 Wärtsilä 34SG engines that will be fueled by natural gas. Wärtsilä has a ten-year operation and maintenance agreement to handle the operations and maintenance of the engines.

The Finnish company also holds the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract for the plant.

Abraaj stated that the inaugural plant in its 500MW Mexican platform will be one of the first projects to begin operations under the new legal and regulatory power sector framework of Mexico.

The Abraaj Group partner Saad Zaman said: “This plant represents the first of many investments that Abraaj intends to carry out in the Mexican energy infrastructure sector.

“We have an advanced pipeline of attractive projects and will leverage our global energy expertise to develop complementary natural gas-fired and renewable energy platforms.

“Buoyed by a strong regulatory framework, the Mexican energy infrastructure sector is a long-term and sustainable investment opportunity for Abraaj.”

Image: Abraaj wants to create a natural-gas fired platform in Mexico of 500MW. Photo: courtesy of The Abraaj Group.