NotiEn - A Newsletter on Energy Policy Issues in Latin America
October 28, 2010Vol 2, Issue 1
Nuclear PlantOil Drilling
A closer look to Nuclear Power in Argentina & PEMEX in Mexico...
Welcome to the second year of NotiEn.In the first year we published articles on a wide variety of energy-related topics from the archives of the Latin America Data Base.Most of those early articles date back to 2000, and address issues such as natural gas, petroleum, hydroelectric power and alternative energy. Those articles examined both the production and policy sides of energy in the Americas.

Our correspondents will continue to cover those same topics in the subsequent years of NotiEn, addressing new developments and related factors, such as the impact of global climate-change discussions on energy decisions.

We start the second year with articles about two very interesting topics.Santiago-based correspondent Benjamin Witte-Lehbar writes about Argentina's nuclear power industry, and David Agren, based in Mexico City, offers a piece about the difficult budget decisions for Mexico's state-run oil company PEMEX in 2011.

Carlos Navarro - Editor


Argentina Promises Nuclear Power Surge
By Benjamin Witte-Lebhar

Nuclear Energy

Left for decades on the proverbial back burner, Argentina's once cutting-edge but now very much dusty nuclear power sector is experiencing a real renaissance. For the first time in more than a quarter century, the country is preparing to open a new nuclear power plant, its third. More may be on the way as Argentina looks to ease its dependence on fossil fuels, particularly natural gas.

Then a regional pioneer, Argentina opened South America's first nuclear power plant in 1974: the 335 megawatt Atucha I facility. Approximately 115 km northwest of Buenos Aires in the town of Lima, Atucha I continues to generate electricity for the country's central grid, as does the 600 MW Embalse plant, which opened a decade later in the north-central province of Córdoba. Together the two nuclear facilities account for roughly 6% of Argentina's total installed generating capacity, estimated at approximately 24,000 MW.  Read more...

In This Issue...
A Note from the Editor
Argentina Promises Nuclear Power Surge
PEMEX Cries Poverty, Analysts Beg to Differ
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PEMEX Cries Poverty, Analysts Beg to Differ
By David Agren

When Finance Secretary Ernesto Cordero delivered his 2011 budget to Congress in early September, complaints surfaced almost immediately in the state oil company PEMEX about the size of next year's proposed US$20.4 billion allocation-some 30% less than requested.

The concerns once again highlighted perpetual challenges in PEMEX's finances as the federal government relies on oil revenue to fund roughly one-third of its budget, which insiders say puts the company at risk of losing money and going into debt and not carrying out new projects to stem a decline in its petroleum reserves. The concerns also highlighted the challenges PEMEX faces as lawmakers perpetually treat the company as a cash cow for funding politically popular projects and an easy source of revenue that allows them to avoid having to implement unpopular tax increases. Read more...

Energy Policy, Regulation and Dialogue in Latin America

NotiEn is an original newsletter with breaking news that analyzes and digests relevant and contemporary information in energy, alternative energy and energy policies in Latin America. A complimentary service provided by the University of New Mexico as part of LA-ENERGAIA Project funded by the US TICFIA Program