Minera Autlan five-year investment plan may include hydropower

Minera Autlan, a Mexican ferroalloy producer, plans to invest up to US$200 million in energy projects and is analyzing wind and hydropower.

According to BNamericas, its five-year plan, which runs to 2019, is expected to involve initial spending of US$150 million to US$200 million. The size of the investment will depend on the projects’ capacity, which has yet to be determined, says Mariella Herrera, head of investor relations with Minera Autlan.

Herrera says the company is currently advancing engineering studies and permitting.

Increasing energy generation through low-cost projects will be key to enabling Autlan to reduce its overall costs, BNamericas says. Energy accounts for about 30% of the company’s production costs.

Minera Autlan owns the 34-MW Atexcaco hydro plant, which supplies 25% to 30% of its electricity needs, Herrera says.

The company’s website also lists the Xoloco I and II project on the Xoloco River, which will be completed in two phases. Phase I is expected to involve an investment of US$8.6 million and provide average annual generation of 24 GWh. Phase II will involve the construction of a second powerhouse to take advantage of excess water during the rainy season.

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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