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Mexico to hold first-ever power auction in March: CENACE


Mexico will hold its first-ever electricity power auction in March, according to the country's National Center for Energy Control, or CENACE.

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CENACE on Thursday published an invitation to those interested in bidding in the auction. The three-page invitation laid out the schedule for the country's initial long-term auction awarding 15-year contracts for capacity and energy, setting the bidding date as March 28, 2016.

To bid, power suppliers must prequalify and list the capacity they intend to make available to the Federal Electricity Commission, or CFE, which will be the only buyer. A key restriction is that bidders cannot offer power already under so-called legacy contracts.

CENACE, which was put in charge of governing the country's new wholesale power market in the reform measures passed and signed into law in August 2014, said it will publish its final guidelines for the March auction on November 30.

It said that it will take any questions or comments about those guidelines between November 30 and December 10, issue clarifications between December 14 and 17, and post the final version of its bidding guidelines on December 22.

As the "potential purchaser," the CFE is being asked by CENACE to prequalify its offer requirements between January 4 and January 29, 2016, and has until January 20 to actually submit its offers so that CENACE can announce the prices and parameters of CFE's accepted offers by January 26.

March 17 is the deadline for bidders to submit their monetary guarantees, with March 18 being the close of the prequalifying process.

The actual bidding will be done on the CENACE website and start at 6:00 am Mexico City time (1200 GMT) on March 28. The window will remain open until 3:00 pm.

CENACE said it will spend three days -- March 28, 29 and 30 -- evaluating the bids. CENACE also said, to the surprise of some who have followed the discussion of the guidelines, that on March 29 and 30 it will allow possible modifications to economic offers by bidders.

On March 3, 2016, CENACE will award the bids, and said Thursday that the contracts must then be signed by May 12, 2016.

--Jeffrey Ryser,
--Edited by Annie Siebert,