OREANDA-NEWS. Mexican cement giant Cemex plans to build new power stations in Mexico using natural gas, Cemex Energia chief executive Luis Farias told Argus.

"We are looking at developing a 300MW gas project in the north of the country, near the border with the United States," said Farias.

The firm is also looking at a portfolio of three to five 70MW plants, complementing existing installations at their cement plants where they already have access to gas, Farias said.

Cemex unveiled its new \$30mn energy unit last month. Cemex Energia already said it plans to develop 1,000MW of renewable energy projects over the next five years.

Cemex currently generates 90pc of its energy needs using petroleum coke and wind farms, and said the new projects will supply third parties. "What we want to do now is take advantage of [our] experience and the opportunities that exist in Mexico," he said.

Cemex Energia has a goal of supplying 3-5pc of the country?s electricity needs by the end of 2020.

Cemex has a production capacity of 94mn tons of cement a year and exports nearly 80pc of the cement and other products. It is one of world's top cement manufacturers.

The firm consumes and trades about 4mn-6mn tons per year of petroleum coke and coal.

Mexico?s new energy reform is dismantling the monopoly of state-run utility CFE, opening new opportunities for the private sector. Because of abundant US shale gas and cross-border pipeline projects, gas has become a fuel of choice for new power generation.