SAN DIEGO, Feb. 1, 2002 - The United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce yesterday presented Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE) with the "Good Neighbor Award" for developing new, cross-border infrastructure to supply much-needed energy to both Mexico and the United States. The presentation took place in Mexico City at the organization's annual Awards Dinner.
The "Good Neighbor Award" is bestowed on individuals or organizations that contributed most in advancing working relations between the United States and Mexico for the preceding year. Sempra Energy was recognized for its role in building the infrastructure necessary to deliver natural gas and electricity across the border between the two countries.
"Since our headquarters are located in San Diego, next to the busiest border crossing in the world, we know what it means to be a good neighbor," said Donald E. Felsinger, group president of Sempra Energy Global Enterprises, the umbrella for Sempra Energy's growth businesses, including Sempra Energy International, which operates in Mexico. "Energy is the lifeblood of the closely linked economies of California and Baja California, and we are proud of our long history of helping ensure that the businesses and families of this binational region have plentiful supplies for generations to come."
Sempra Energy began strengthening business relations between the United States and Mexico in the mid-1980s, when its subsidiary, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E;), started trading electricity with Mexico's Federal Electricity Commission (CFE).
In 1996, the government of Mexico awarded Sempra Energy International the first private natural gas distribution license in the country's history -- in the border city of Mexicali, Baja California. Since then, the company has added natural gas distribution businesses in the city of Chihuahua and the states of Coahuila and Durango. The company has a goal of reaching 125,000 customers in these areas by 2005.
In 2000, Sempra Energy International completed a 23-mile pipeline from San Diego to the Presidente Juárez Power Plant in Rosarito, Baja California, helping the CFE begin to convert the plant to clean-burning natural gas.
Próxima Gas, S.A. de C.V., a private Mexican infrastructure-development company, is a partner in the Mexicali and Chihuahua natural gas distribution businesses, as well as in the Rosarito Pipeline.
Currently under construction is the North Baja Pipeline, which will extend 215 miles from Ehrenberg, Ariz., to Tijuana, Baja California. When completed later this year, the pipeline will deliver up to 500 million cubic feet per day of natural gas to power plants and industries in Baja California. The U.S. segment of this pipeline is being built by PG&E; Corporation's National Energy Group.
Sempra Energy Resources, the wholesale power-generation subsidiary of Sempra Energy, is building a 600-megawatt power plant in Mexicali that will be linked to the U.S. power grid. The plant is expected to begin operations in the summer of 2003.
Sempra Energy also has announced an agreement with CMS Energy Corporation to jointly develop a major new liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal on the coast of Baja California. Sempra Energy is negotiating for LNG supplies to be shipped to the terminal from Bolivia.
Prior to the creation of Sempra Energy in 1998, its precursor companies -- Enova Corporation and Pacific Enterprises -- received the Good Neighbor award in 1997, the year of their first cross-border natural gas delivery to Mexicali. Previously, Baja California had no access to environmentally friendly natural gas and relied primarily on heavy fuel oil.
Sempra Energy, based in San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company with 2001 revenues of $8 billion. Through its eight principal subsidiaries -- Southern California Gas Company, San Diego Gas & Electric, Sempra Energy Solutions, Sempra Energy Trading, Sempra Energy International, Sempra Energy Resources, Sempra Communications and Sempra Energy Financial -- the Sempra Energy companies' 12,000 employees serve more than 9 million customers in the United States, Europe, Canada, Mexico, South America and Asia.