Opportunities for investment and for increasing the use of Natural Gas Vehicles (NGVs) throughout the American Southwest and Mexico were featured at the 18th annual U.S.-Mexico Border Energy Forum, on October 27 and 28 in El Paso, Texas. All 10 U.S. and Mexican states along the border are represented at the forum.
“This Forum was founded by the Texas General Land Office in 1994 to share information about energy and environmental issues on both sides of the border,” said Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson. “The idea is to provide policy planners with the best information available so they can make wise decisions, forge partnerships and work for the region as a whole.”
The panel on NGVs was moderated by Soll Sussman, who coordinates the Forum for the Land Office, and included speakers from both countries. Andrés Bayona Insignares, from Promotora Energética E³ in Mexico City, said that while there are currently only 2,000 NGVs in Mexico, the market potential there is enormous. He said that good news for the NGV industry includes recent announcements about increased natural gas reserves in northeastern Mexico, as well as the projected price differential between gasoline and diesel and natural gas. He pointed to the progress that has made NGVs a common choice in Colombia and elsewhere in South America.
Lynn Lyon from Pioneer Natural Resources presented the plans for the Texas Triangle. A bill approved by the Texas Legislature in spring 2011 provides for funding for vehicles and infrastructure, focusing on the triangular routes between Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio-Austin. That includes the North-South Interstate Highway 35 that is heavily trafficked at the border in Laredo. A Central and South Texas NGV Coalition was formed recently, centered on Austin and San Antonio.
Steve Richardson from Public Solutions Group has worked with the City of Laredo to develop natural gas infrastructure there. He discussed strategies for coordinating fleet purchases of NGVs to obtain the most benefit for attracting fueling infrastructure.
Charlie Ker from Cummins Westport and Blake Littauer from Clean Energy also featured their companies’ efforts in the region.
The next Border Energy Forum, the 19th annual, is scheduled for Hermosillo, Sonora, on October 22-24, 2012. The Forum alternates each year between cities in northern Mexico and the American Southwest. Information will be available at www.borderenergyforum.org