Australia & Mexico Sign Energy Cooperation Agreement

Coal, gas and renewable energy trade and investment opportunities between Australia and Mexico were strengthened today with the signing of a 10 year Memorandum of Understanding on energy co-operation.

Federal Industry Minister, Ian Macfarlane, and Mexican Secretary for Energy, Fernando Elizondo Barragan, signed the MoU in Mexico City this morning (Australian time) following a roundtable of key government and industry officials.

The MoU builds on last year's announcement of Australia's largest single coal deal in Mexico, 2.28 million tonnes to be supplied to the Mexican Federal Electricity Commission at a record A$238 million (US $187 million).

"Our countries already cooperate closely on regional energy issues through the APEC Energy Working Group, but the MoU will strengthen that partnership by promoting more work on the sharing of technology, information and investment."

"More specifically, the MoU sets out the framework for collaboration including exchange of information on energy policies, the development of energy technologies and encouraging more bilateral trade," said Mr Macfarlane.

The MoU provides for co-operation on energy activities including:

  • the exchange of research, technical and expert personnel;

  • joint research on exploration and development of energy resources;

  • technological R&D on energy conservation/efficiency methods; and

  • use of renewable energy sources.

  • A Joint Working Group will be set up to implement the Memorandum of Understanding, with meetings to be held in Mexico and Australia alternatively. Its first meeting is proposed for Australia later this year.

    "This exchange of information and expertise will work both ways. Australia is a leader in the development of natural gas facilities, while we can learn from the Mexican experience in areas such as oil and gas production."

    "The end goal is to develop best practices and regulatory regimes in many areas of mutual interest including trade, investment in energy projects, and energy-related policies and technological cooperation," said Mr Macfarlane.

    In 2003-04, Australia's exports to Mexico totalled A$340 million, of that A$116 million was from coal trade.