The Paso Norte Pipeline Project is a proposed international natural gas pipeline. It will deliver efficient, clean burning, and cost effective natural gas from the United States to a dynamic region of North Central Mexico; the western portion of the State of Chihuahua.
The proposed pipeline will originate and interconnect with the El Paso Natural Gas Southern Pipeline System at Deming, New Mexico; and proceed south to the international border of Columbus, N.M. and the Port of Palomas, Chihuahua. In Mexico, the pipeline will continue south and serve the communities of Palomas, Ascension, Nuevo Casa Grandes, and The Natural Gas Hub El Encino.
Paso Norte Pipeline Group is not affiliated with or a subsidiary of El Paso Natural Gas Co., El Paso Energy, or Kinder Morgan, Inc.
A 33-mile pipeline is planned from El Paso Natural Gas' Southern System to the New Mexico/Chihuahua Border. This interconnection will be located at EPNG's, Florida Station in New Mexico. The cost of this high-pressure pipeline is estimated to be $60 million.
In Chihuahua, the first stage of the project will be service to the port and municipality of Palomas, Ascension, the Apache Power Park and the Palomas Petrochemical Park in the county of Ascencion. Estimated length of this pipeline is 20 miles from the Border to the Apache Power Park.
The second stage of the pipeline will be from Apache Power Park to the Encino Hub in Chihuahua City. Estimated length with laterals is 272 miles. In the Encino Hub the pipeline can serve as an interconnect with other pipelines that supply Chihuahua City , the Encino-Topolobampo pipeline and Encino-Guadalajara pipeline.
Domestic and industrial service
Western Chihuahua's main sources of energy are propane, diesel, fuel oil, and electricity. A population of 500,000 without natural gas. The municipalities of Palomas , Ascension and Janos are without municipal service. Nuevo Casas Grandes (pop. 104,000) is now being served by Gas Industrial del Norte with domestic and industrial service, but it is supplied by Compressed Natural Gas transported from Cd Juarez.
The new electric law permits the operation of new private players in the market. The new opportunities lie in Gas Power Generation, Electricity Transportation and Electricity Marketing, The Mexican Wholesale Electric Market is in operation. In this market an independent Power Producer can supply qualified power users (More than 1 Megawatt in demand) (More than 4,000 in Mexico) directly. Also IPP can participate in long term bids for electricity to sell to CFE or sell through a certified supplier (private).
The new power generators are requesting special and competitive infrastructure requirements such as special power generation industrial park, that provide adequate gas supply and electricity transmission infrastructure.
Mexico is an importer of fertilizers based on Nitrogen (Urea and Ammonia) More than 1.8 million tons annually. The availability of natural gas in large volumes can support the development of a Petrochemical Park in northern Chihuahua to produce those products as well as Methanol, for the US and Mexican Markets.
Availability of natural gas can support the location and expansion of industries such as Ceramics, Agroindustry (dehydration plants), Greenhouses, Steel and Foundries and other energy intensive industries. The state of Chihuahua is one of the leaders of Mexican industry with more than 400,000 jobs in manufacturing mainly in Automotive, Aerospace and Electronic industries. The pipeline will serve strategically located industrial parks in the area.
The new Energy Reform Laws, passed and approved by the Upper and Lower Houses of the Mexican Legislature and signed by President Peña in 2014; have had a positive impact on the Paso Norte Pipeline Project.
The new secondary laws broaden the opportunities in natural gas marketing and transmission, but also change the electric market landscape of Mexico
New electric power generators will be allowed to supply directly to a large range of “Qualified customers”. These “Qualified customers” represent and wide variety of industrial plants, industrial groups, commercial and service companies located through Mexico. A new “Wholesale Electric Market” is created and will be managed by CENACE. Transportation of Electricity is managed by CENACE, but private companies can also participate building and operating electric transmission lines.
These new laws have paved the way for investment in privately owned power electrical generation plants in Mexico.
The Apache Power Park will be a 400+ acre industrial site dedicated to attracting 3 to 5 gas fired electrical generating plants. These plants will be customers of the Paso Norte Pipeline Project in Western Chihuahua. The park will offer specialized services for power generation such as Power Lines for transmission, water, highway access and other specialized services.
Privately owned plants with long term leases in the power park utilizing special transmission lines to supply electricity through the Mexican Grid to any place in Mexico.
The location and characteristics of the Apache Power Park will be defined under a contract with CFE technical and engineering operations.