Mexico wishing to attract petrochemical investment

Apr 16, 1998 02:00 AM

The Mexican government is seeking ways of attracting private investment into the petrochemical sector even though it is hampered by a law that requires the state to maintain a majority stake in such ventures, Energy Minister Luiz Tellez said.
Tellez said there has been little interest from investors in taking minority stakes alongside Pemex. "We have encountered very serious difficulties because the Mexican legislation establishes a series of padlocks," Tellez said.
The Mexican constitution stipulates that the state must maintain a 51 % stake in petrochemical operations. Major international petrochemical players say a joint venture with Pemex would likely bring more headaches than benefits. "There's been little interest, you could say, on the part of investors, whether national or international," Tellez said.
Even so, he said the government was exploring all possibilities and seeking consensus among all players, including the communities where petrochemical plants are based.
A newspaper reported that changing the law to allow private investors to take full ownership of petrochemical ventures was one of the options being studied.
It said President Zedillo had ordered the Energy Ministry to come up with a proposal that would alter the current legislation limiting private-sector participation.
Speculation over the possibility of wholesale privatisation has gripped the local media for several weeks.

Source: not available
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