By RICARDO CASTILLO
Wind and Solar Energy Thwarted
The publication in the Mexican government’s Official Gazette on Friday, May 15, of a change in federal electricity policies, titled the Policy of Trustworthiness, Security, Continuity and Quality in the National Electricity System has irked many a foreign corporation that has invested in renewable electricity.
Mexican Energy (Sener) Secretary Rocío Nahle has received at least two letters of concern, one from the Canadian Embassy in Mexico and one from the European Union Embassy, both stating that the new policies discourage foreign investment in the clean energy sector by transnational corporations that were already preparing to sell electricity to the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE).
These international corporations stated that the new ruling violates agreements already signed as part of the previous administration’s Energy Reform bill, and well as existing bilateral trade and investment treaties.
The new Sener regulations imposes a series of tests and limitations on new electricity generating plants that use renewable fuels, and specifically limits the issuance of permits to wind and solar plants in places that the Sener deems either congested or with little transmission capabilities.
The edict also awards the National Center of Energy Control the right to reject feasibility studies to install new wind or solar plants.
Enoch Castellanos, president of the National Manufacturing Industry Chamber (Canacintra) was especially angered by the edict, saying that it is “indignant the way that the Sener is illegally dismantling the national electricity sector.”
The bottom line is that Mexican industrial electricity consumption has plummeted and the Federal Electricity Commission is overcharged, with no need to buy, at least in the immediate future, surplus juice from clean suppliers.
Government Loans Ignored
Mexican Social Security Director Zoé Robledo Aburto said that, as of midnight Friday, May 15, only a third of the government’s loans to small businesses that did not fire employees during the early stages of the covid-19 crisis had been applied for.
In total, Robledo said, only 181,981 of the expected 645,000 borrowers had so far applied to receive the loans
However, he said that he felt satisfied that 31 of the expected total did apply since that will benefit over 1.6 million Mexican workers who did not lose their jobs during the pandemic shutdown.
Foreign Direct Investment Up
According to government sources, Mexico received 10.334 billion pesos in foreign direct investment during the first quarter of 2020, 1.7 percent more than it did for the same period of 2019.
The amount is based on the different between incoming monies, which totaled 15.6 billion. and revenues exiting the nation, worth 5.27 billion.
Of the total figure, 76.1 percent was the result of profit reinvestment, 22 percent was new investment and 1.9 was intercorporate exchanges.
As for the countries of origin of the investments, 38.9 percent came from the United States, 14.3 from Spain, 9.4 percent from Germany, 7.2 from Canada, 4.6 from the Netherlands and the remaining 25. 6 percent from several other nations.
Philips Sends 2000 Ventilators
Acting on behalf of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), Foreign Relations (SRE) Secretary Marcelo Ebrard attended the airport delivery of 2000 ventilators to use in covid-19 treatment in public hospitals donated by Dutch company Philips and other private sector corporations.
Ebrard said he was particularly grateful to the companies that made the donation, led by the Mexican Foundation for Health, whose president, Héctor Valle, was on hand to acknowledge receipt of the equipment.
Valle was joined by Philips México CEO Mario Pérez Monzó.
The donation was also made possible through help from the mining companies Grupo México and the Alberto Bailleres Foundation, as well as from IEnova, IUSA, Bimbo and Televisa.
China Thankful to Mexico
Chinese Ambassador to Mexico Zhu Qingqiao told SRE’s Ebrard that his country will never forget that during the first stages of covid-19 pandemic, Mexico was among the first nations to contribute help to China.
“Today Mexico finds itself in the most critical phase of the covid-19 pandemic,” Qingqiao said during the delivery ceremony of the 10th plane of medical equipment on Tuesday, May 12.
“China understands this deeply and we’re doing our best to strengthen the air bridge to deliver medical supplies.”
School Year Over
Puebla Governor Miguel Barbosa issued an executive order on Friday, May 15, to official end the 2019-2020 school year in the state, a decision that affected 2.6 million elementary and secondary school students.
“You’ve all passed,” Barbosa told the students, who have been out of school for the past two months but taking at-home classes via internet.
Teachers will reconvene the first week of August and classes will restart the second week of that month, the governor said.
Sinaloa Drug Bust
The Mexican Attorney General police obtained a warrant to search a suspected drug lab in the state of Sinaloa.
Without mentioning the exact location of the bust, the Attorney General reported that the police had seized 4,225 liters of benzylchloride, 1,550 liters of benzaldehyde, 605 liters of monomethyl amine, 420 of methamphetamine, 185 liters of toluene and 125 liters of chlorohydrin acid, along with 20,000 liters of a variety of substances and equipment used to manufacture synthetic drugs.
There was an immediate response from the United States, with U.S. President Donald Trump tweeting, “Mexico must take control of this very big problem!”
At the same time, @JudicialWatch posted: “Mexican drug smugglers are really getting bold. A crossborder tunnel recently discovered by U.S. authorities exits in a San Diego warehouse, right next to a busy Customs and Border Protection (CBP) port of entry.”
…May 18, 2020