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Economy, Energy

Ciudad Madero, Petroleos Mexicanos, Veracruz State, Pemex, small propane tanks

Most electricity in Mexico is produced by thermal power plants that burn coal or oil. In 1999 these plants accounted for 74 percent of the nationís electrical generation. Hydroelectric power, the next largest source, accounted for 17.75 percent. Nuclear power generated 5 percent, and geothermal and other sources produced the remainder.

The nationís major hydroelectric plants can be found in five mountainous states: Chiapas, Guerrero, Michoacan, Puebla, and Mexico. The Federal Electric Commission is responsible for the development of hydroelectric power. Natural gas, stored in small propane tanks, is widely used by Mexican households for cooking and heating water. Although the nation has major natural gas supplies, it has not developed the underlying infrastructure to supply its manufacturing industries or businesses.

Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) directs the extraction and production of petroleum-based energy. Mexicoís major petroleum processing plants are located in the cities of Minatitlan in Veracruz State, Ciudad Madero and Reynosa in Tamaulipas State, Salamanca in Guanajuato State, and Atzcapotzalco in the Federal District. Most of Mexicoís oil fields are located in the Gulf of Mexico or along the Gulf Coast. In the mid-1990s the states of Campeche, Tabasco, and Veracruz accounted for about 67 percent, 26 percent, and 4 percent, respectively, of the total volume of petroleum extracted in Mexico. Until 1994 gasoline for use in automobiles was sold only in government-franchised retail stations; after 1994 privately owned retail stations were permitted to operate in the country.

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