First Reserve, the largest global private equity and infrastructure investment firm exclusively focused on energy, announced a partnership with Mexico Power Group to build the 130MW La Bufa wind farm in Zacatecas, Mexico. Upon completion, La Bufa will sell its generated power under a contracted off take agreement to Volkswagen de México, helping the company meet its targeted renewable energy standards. The Volkswagen plant in Puebla is the largest automobile factory in Mexico and also one of the largest vehicle plants in the Volkswagen Group. Volkswagen also operates an engine plant in Silao, Guanajuato. Mexico is the seventh largest passenger vehicle manufacturer in the world.
The project represents the third wind farm First Reserve has partnered on in Mexico and is expected to bring the Firm’s total generated wind power in Mexico to over 600MW once in operation. The announcement also further deepens First Reserve’s presence as an energy infrastructure investor in Mexico, following the announcement earlier this year of its participation in the Los Ramones II pipelines project and the US$1 billion Memorandum of Understanding announced with Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex).
MPG, an experienced player in the renewable energy industry, will construct the facility in partnership with Cannon Power Group and Gamesa, a global wind technology leader, who is supplying the turbines. Financing is being provided by Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Korean Development Bank, Nacional Financiera and Bancomext.
Mark Florian, Managing Director and Head of Infrastructure Funds for First Reserve, said, “We are pleased to be entering into long-term partnerships with world-class organizations including MPG, Volkswagen de México and Gamesa to build the first wind farm in this region. We expect this project may be the first in a platform of wind power opportunities with MPG, and we are excited to be enhancing the renewable footprint of both Volkswagen de México and the country of Mexico. First Reserve is proud to continue to generate what we believe are attractive investment opportunities with leading industry participants in Mexico, to the benefit of the Mexican economy, our corporate counterparties, and our investors.”
Gerry Monkhouse, CEO of MPG, added, “Mexico Power Group is very happy to be working with First Reserve in developing the largest wind park in Mexico producing energy that is going to a single manufacturing facility. The clean energy that Volkswagen will consume is equal to the electricity used by 162,000 households in Mexico.”
Construction on the project has already commenced with completion currently targeted for early 2017.