Mexico’s Senate has approved laws which crack open its electricity sector to more private businesses.
After an eight-hour debate on Sunday (20 July), the laws were passed with 89 votes in favour and 27 against.
The new legal regime means private firms can generate and sell electricity while Mexican firms PEMEX and the Federal Electricity Commission look after transmission and distribution.
The new legislation “seeks to modernise, update, strengthen and transform” the firms so they can be “competitive in their respective markets”, according to a statement on the Senate’s website.
It said the laws also have provisions to guarantee the rights of workers.
There wasn’t unanimous support: while one senator said the current legal framework limits operation potential, another suggested the Mexican state is “weakened” by the change.
Hydroelectricity supplied 11% of Mexico’s power last year according to the US Energy Information Administration.