Nationalize lithium, strengthen Pemex’s role as market leader, as well as various changes in the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), regulatory bodies and the Hydrocarbons Law are some of the reforms that the parliamentary group of Morena in the Senate of the Republic proposed in the Legislative Agenda for the third year of constitutional exercise, of the first ordinary period of sessions that will be held from September 2020 to January 2021.
According to the agenda of the parliamentary group coordinated by Ricardo Monreal, the objective of the initiatives is “to consolidate a more just, inclusive, equitable and prosperous homeland.”
In the “Rule of law, security and justice” section, a proposal for constitutional reform and the Mining Law to nationalize lithium in order to protect it as a strategic national resource, a resource that is considered the “white oil” of the future, stands out.
The proposal joins the statements of the former head of the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), Víctor Manuel Toledo, who in mid-June highlighted the importance of the federation nationalizing the resource that is explored and exploited in the center and north of the country.
Regarding this possibility, Javier Villarreal Gámez, Undersecretary of Labor of the National Committee of the Confederation of Mexican Workers, has said that it generates distrust and discouragement because “it scares away private investment, because it speaks of nationalization, something that means a kind of nationalization but without clarifying how this resource will be exploited ”.
The president himself Andrés Manuel López Obrador It has said that “nationalization is not necessary because according to the Constitution, Article 27 establishes the domain of the nation of the natural resources that are in the soil and underground.”
“That is why there is a mechanism for the delivery of contracts and concessions in the case of mining. It will be necessary to see in what conditions these contracts and the concessions would be delivered ”, he said in his morning conference on June 26, when he was questioned by what was said by Toledo.
Lithium is used as the main component for batteries in household appliances and cell phones., but an exponential increase in demand for this mineral is expected for electric car batteries in the automotive industry.
It is estimated that Mexico It has one of the largest lithium reserves in the world and most of it is under the control of the Mexican government, according to the Ministry of Economy. In the country the extraction of this material is regulated in Article 4 of the Mining Law.
Sonora stands out for having one of the largest deposits in the world, in Bacadéhuachi, especially the project in charge of the Canadian company Bacanora Lithium, which in a first stage foresees an investment of 420 million dollars.
According to market researcher Report Linker, in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, the global market for batteries for electric vehicles is expected to reach $ 30.7 billion in 2020, and by 2027 it will grow at a compound rate. annual of 16.1 percent, until reaching a value of 87 thousand 200 million.
According to estimates by the government of Australia, the world’s leading lithium producer, it is estimated that in 2019 the world consumed 315 thousand equivalent tons of lithium carbonate (LCE) and that this will grow more than 20 percent annually to reach 485 thousand tons in 2021, due to the increasing adoption of vehicles and improvements in battery capacity.
The agenda also includes a “Comprehensive reform in energy matters” without giving more details of its objective, as well as “reforming the Law of Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) in order to reinforce its governing or leadership role in the market”, an objective that the federal administration has indicated on different occasions.
To this objective are added the initiatives to reform the Hydrocarbon Revenue Law, to alleviate the fiscal burden of Pemex, in order to improve its financial situation.
In terms of transparency and the fight against corruption, Morena will have reforms to the Hydrocarbons Law on its agenda, in order to specify the conditions of the assignments and contracts that were awarded in order to avoid corruption.
They are also expected to work to promote a reform of the Hydrocarbons Law, the Mexican Petroleum Law and the Law of Coordinated Regulatory Bodies in energy matters, that is, the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) and the National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH).
Regarding actions in the environment, highlights a reform to promote clean energy, as well as legislative reforms for the promotion, implementation and use of sustainable, renewable and clean energy.
In this same sense, they will carry out reforms so that Pemex develops its attribution of generating alternative energy projects, different from that of hydrocarbons.
Among others, it is also sought that with the legislative changes it is possible to develop projects for the capture, storage and storage of CO2 in the energy sector.