The Energy regulatory commission (CRE) granted this Tuesday in the ordinary session of its governing body a total of 43 permits for the operation of new stations gas station servicewith which so far this year there have been 409 permits granted, a figure that is 3.5 times higher than the 114 permits granted last year.
According to the National Organization of Petroleum Dispensers (Onexpo), 12,884 service stations were quantified at the end of 2021, which, after the granting of permits this Tuesday, would be exceeding the average growth of these establishments before the present administration, which was 350 new service stations per year.
So, you get to more than 13,250 gas stations throughout the country, after finally the CRE resumed its activities in this area.
According to the calculations of the consultant Lexoil, in January of this year, 21 permits for new establishments were granted; in February, only six new permits and in March, 10 permits in ordinary session and six more in an extraordinary session, closing the quarter with just 43 permits granted for new service stations, while complaints about the lack of activity of the CRE were increasing across the country.
This situation continued to increase the discontent of the business community, not only nationally, but in various countries, mainly the United States, where in fact official notifications were issued from various levels of government asking the Mexican Foreign Ministry and President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to would allow working with the level floor that was agreed in the Trade Agreement between Mexico, the United States and Canada (T-MEC).
In May, it increased to 41 new permits, but in June this number dropped to 22 permits and in July 19 permits were granted. Thus, for the first half of the year, 125 permits were granted for new service stations.
And in August, the granting of permits added only 17 new ones. But at the end of the previous month, the United States activated an instrument of the T-MEC which was the beginning of consultations to decide if an international legal dispute would be carried out due to the actions of the Mexican government in energy matters.
And in September, after more than 24 months of not receiving direct attention, but only remotely, even with appointments for clarifications, around 120 regulated entities and their representatives were received at the facilities of the CRE where three meetings were held with representatives of the Hydrocarbons Unit, which culminated in an ambiguous feeling, on the part of the businessmen, since on the one hand there was hope that the regulator would speed up its activities and on the other hand it was not outlined no plan or any subsequent appointment to continue the dialogue.
However, in September 150 new permits were granted in a single session. In October, the total number of permits granted was 66 and thus November was reached with these 43 permits for new gas station service stations.
According to Marcial Díaz, a partner at Lexoil Consultores, what happens is nothing more than that they began to do their job, since, in previous years, during the Covid 19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, they were too late.
“The sector is very dynamic and its growth is 350 stations per year on average, this year they will exceed the goal, but there was a very significant debt,” the analyst told The Economist“it was undertaken with protections, complaints to the internal control body, to the office of citizen attention of the presidency, these efforts added up and managed to release these permits, although it should be noted that the CRE is one of the few organizations that today continues to with restrictions by Covid 19”.
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