Mexico will build natural gas-fired plants instead of nuclear

Mexico is ending plans to build up to 10 new nuclear reactors in the country, opting instead to build natural gas-fired power plants.

Bloomberg reports that state-owned oil producer Pemex found evidence of up to 300 trillion cubic feet of gas in the Coahuila region in the past year, and the country will reportedly seek private investment of about $10 billion during five years to expand its natural gas pipeline network. Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) plans to invest 66.3 billion pesos ($4.9 billion) in 2011 and 90.4 billion pesos ($670.3 million) in 2012, mainly in six new plants that use fossil fuels and is reconfiguring other facilities to use natural gas, the article said.

The country was considering nuclear power as part of plans to boost capacity to 86 GW within 15 years, from about 50 GW, and now prefers gas for cost reasons.

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