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U.S. Secretary of Energy meeting with Mexican officials to discuss overhaul of electricity market

Mexico City, Mexico — President Andrés Manuel López Obrador says the U.S. Secretary of Energy is scheduled to visit the country. He says he will be meeting with Jennifer Granholm this week.

“She is going to meet with the Mexican energy minister, with the foreign minister and we are also going to receive her here in the palace,” Lopez Obrador told reporters at his Monday morning news conference.

Granholm will be arriving at a time when a reform of the electricity sector is being discussed locally and while oil company Pemex is about to close the purchase of the Deer Park refinery.

López Obrador said talks about the government’s planned overhaul of the Mexican electricity market is potentially on the agenda, a topic that the U.S. has voiced concerns over.

Mexico’s northern neighbor has expressed concerns about an initiative championed by Lopez Obrador in which Mexico intends to strengthen state control of the power market. Many have said this strengthening is coming at the expense of private companies.

Granholm’s visit also comes at a time when Pemex is expected to complete the 50 percent purchase of the Deer Park refinery in Texas from the Anglo-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell.

That sale, once complete, will make Pemex sole owner of the plant with a crude processing capacity of 340,000 barrels per day.

López Obrador said that the idea is to talk with Granholm about “all issues” of energy interest between the two countries, including the controversial electricity reform, through which the Government intends to give total control of the sector to the state-owned CFE and guarantee dominance of the status on potential lithium reserves.

“There is no intractable or closed issue,” said the president at his morning press conference, noting that he will give his opinion on the electrical reform to the US official “if necessary and if she wants to.”

Granholm will also meet with her counterpart, the Mexican Secretary of Energy, Rocío Nahle and with the Foreign Minister, Marcelo Ebrard, announced the president.