Centro Morelos (Huexca) power station

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Centro Morelos (Huexca) power station is a 724-megawatt (MW) gas-fired power plant in Huexca in the state of Morelos, Mexico.[1]

Location

The map below shows the exact location of the power station in Huexca, the state of Morelos, Mexico.

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Project Details

  • Sponsor: Comisión Federal de Electricidad[1]
  • Parent company: Comisión Federal de Electricidad[2]
  • Location: Huexca, the state of Morelos, Mexico
  • Coordinates: 18.801383, -98.879092 (exact)
  • Gross capacity (operating): 724 MW
    • Combined-cycle unit: 724 MW[1], start year 2021[3]

Background

The Centro Morelos power station is a key component of the Proyecto Integral Morelos, which also includes the 165-kilometer Morelos Gas Pipeline. The plant was first planned in 2011 by Abengoa.[1] The plant was on hold for nearly eight years due to opposition.[4]

In February 2019 there was a push by social organizations to convert the paused plant into a solar panel factory.[5] However, in September 2020 President López Obrador fast-tracked the project, stating that the environmental concerns would be addressed, most notably by refraining from using the Cuautla River resources.[6] The installation of a 142 meter pipe to transport sewage was included as part of construction plans to address environmental concerns.[6]

In November 2020, Mexico's federal electricity commission CFE announced that it would resume construction on the stalled project.[6][7] Despite sustained local protests, CFE maintained that there was no longer any legal impediment or judicial order preventing the plant and the pipeline from operating.[7] The time required for remaining work on the project was estimated at 10 to 15 days.[7] Opponents continued to protest outside the plant throughout December 2020.[8]

As of February 2021, following a period of testing and with the support of Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the power plant and its associated pipeline appeared poised to begin commercial operations.[9][10] Despite continued public opposition[9][11][12][13], the plant finally began generating electricity in October 2021.[3][14][15]

Opposition

Construction on the plant has stalled due to opposition. In February 2019, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador held a referendum, or "consulta" to gain support for the "mostly complete" plant. Although 60% of the referendum voters supported the project, community activists claimed the vote was "meaningless". In addition,

"The political volatility around plans for the project spiked when an indigenous community leader, Samir Flores Soberanes, was assassinated by unknown assailants three days before the consulta vote took place. The Morelos attorney general has said the murder was not related to the project, but the community activist group that Flores led, the People’s Front, has said they blame the federal government for Flores’ death."[16]

Samir Flores had attended an informational forum in the municipality of Jonacatepec a day before his murder and three days before the referendum. At issue is whether there will be enough water to cool the plant without harming the local environment; the associated Morelos Gas Pipeline, which will supply gas to the plant via a route that crosses indigenous lands, is also controversial.[17][18]

As of November 2021, activists continued to push back against President AMLO's push for "electrical self sufficiency" stating that the true beneficiaries of the project are in fact multinational corporations including Canadian company Alamos Gold.[13] As the power station is a CFE sponsored project it is likely to become fully operational as part of AMLO's work to push out private power generation companies.[19]

Articles and Resources

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Combined Cycle Centro Morelos – 724 MW, Abengoa website, accessed Nov 23, 2019
  2. "Quiénes somos". Comisión Federal de Electricidad. Archived from the original on November 29, 2020. Retrieved May 4, 2021.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "2021: El año en que la termoeléctrica entró en funcionamiento". El Sol de Cuautla. December 31, 2021.
  4. "Detienen las protestas 4 mil mdp en Huexca". El Sol de Cuernavaca. January 13, 2020.
  5. "Mexican Village Wants to Turn Thermoelectric Plant into Solar Panel Factory". Inter Press Service. 2019-02-01. Retrieved 2021-06-23.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Huexca Plant Restarts Construction Following Social Issues". Mexico Business. Retrieved 2021-06-23.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "Inicia CFE central de Huexca para culminar el gasoducto Morelos; no tocará río Cuautla - Puebla". La Jornada de Oriente. November 23, 2020.
  8. "Huexca, en alerta ante inicio de operaciones de termoeléctrica". La Jornada. December 21, 2020.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Proyecto Integral Morelos: un monstruo que apenas despierta". Proceso. February 23, 2021.
  10. "Gasoducto Morelos inicia pruebas de operación en zona eruptiva del Popocatépetl - Puebla". La Jornada de Oriente. February 8, 2021.
  11. "Socio-environmental impacts and violation of human rights in commercial relations between Spain and Mexico". Ecologistas en Accion. November 25, 2021. Retrieved December 17, 2021.
  12. Marcial, Norma (June 27, 2021). "Gasoducto Morelos: una historia de 11 años de lucha, represión y hasta un asesinato". El Sol de Puebla.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Welle (www.dw.com), Deutsche. "México: "Es inexplicable la apuesta de López Obrador por los hidrocarburos" | DW | 11.08.2021". DW.COM (in español). Retrieved 2021-12-17.
  14. "Tras 8 años de espera, ya funciona la termoeléctrica". El Sol de Cuautla. November 13, 2021.
  15. "Termoeléctrica de Huexca, con 30 años de vida a futuro o hasta más". El Sol de Cuautla. February 23, 2022.
  16. Emily Pickrell, Indigenous Groups Cry Foul in Vote on Mexican Power Plant, Bloomberg News, Mar 13, 2019
  17. Samir Flores: el asesinato en México de uno de los principales activistas contrarios a la termoeléctrica de Morelos que el gobierno de AMLO somete a consulta este fin de semana, BBC World News, Feb 19, 2019
  18. Jon Martín Cullell, Asesinan a un activista mexicano en vísperas de la consulta sobre una termoeléctrica, El País, Feb 20, 2019
  19. "Mexico presents plan to shutter private power plants". OPB. October 12, 2021. Retrieved December 17, 2021.