The Government of Mexico has secured regulatory approval to acquire Spanish energy company Iberdrola’s 13 power plants in the country for $6bn (102.34bn pesos).  

The move is expected to strengthen President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s hold on the power sector and increase the state’s control over the nation’s electricity generation to 60%.

The deal has been approved by Mexico’s antitrust regulator, the Federal Economic Competition Commission (Cofece), on condition that the energy assets are operated independently.

The regulator prohibited the government from increasing its ownership of the assets above a threshold of 51%, according to a report from Bloomberg.  

It further mandated that an independent administrator should supervise activities.

Contracts were already in place for the majority of the electricity generated by the plants to be sold to state-owned company the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE).

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The operational dynamics post-acquisition, including whether CFE will be the sole operator, remain unclear following Cofece’s ruling.

The initial agreement to buy the power plants from Iberdrola, described by President Obrador as a “new nationalisation” of the electricity market, was made in April 2023.

The Colombian Ministry of Mines and Energy has awarded new licences to expand the country’s electricity generating capacity by 4.5GW between 2027 and 2028, Reuters reported.

Of the new capacity in the auction, 99% was assigned to solar energy projects, while the remaining 1% was distributed among thermal biomass projects and expansions.

Solar is now expected to account for 26% of the country’s electricity, surpassing thermal energy.

The development will also result in hydroelectricity’s share falling from 66% to 50%.