Mexico’s President wants private energy firms not to hike electricity prices – Reuters

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador attends a media conference at Palacio Nacional in Mexico City, Mexico, January 30, 2019. Picture taken on January 30, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday he wants to revise the contracts that private energy companies have with state-run power utility CFE so they do not hike electricity prices.

“We are urging companies that have agreements with the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) to come together to review contracts and above all to reach an agreement that electricity prices will not increase,” Lopez Obrador said during his morning press conference.

“We are looking to achieve a voluntary restructuring of agreements and commitments within the framework of the law … The Mexican government is committed to not increasing electricity prices for consumers, but we want private companies to help in this initiative,” said Lopez Obrador.

Lopez Obrador has been a staunch critic of landmark 2013-14 energy reforms that ended the wholesale electricity monopoly held by CFE and opened up the Mexican oil industry to private investment.

The reforms ended state oil company Pemex’s decades-long monopoly by allowing private producers to operate projects on their own as well as enter into partnerships with Pemex known as farm-outs.

Reporting by Anthony Esposito and Miguel Angel Gutierrez; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe