Bimbo begins construction on world’s largest wind energy plant farm for food industry in Mexico

On December 2, Daniel Servitje, chief executive officer of Grupo Bimbo, accompanied by the Secretary of Energy, Dr. Georgina Kessel, senior managers of the Comision Federal de Electricidad (Federal Commission for Electric Power), and the Energy Regulation Commission and with the presence of Officials from the Government of the State of Oaxaca, announced the start of construction work at the Piedra Larga wind farm.

When completed, it will generate almost 100 percent of the electrical power consumed by Grupo Bimbo in Mexico. With an installed wind power of 90 megawatts, the wind farm will be able to supply the electric power consumed by 65 of the company’s facilities (production plants and other operation centers). Grupo Bimbo has also invited Grupo Calidra, Frialsa Frigorificos and Papalote Museo del Nino to participate in the project.

The wind farm will be located in Union Hidalgo, State of Oaxaca. It was made possible thanks to the strategic alliance fostered by the Government of Mexico, the private sector and banks. The operation of the wind farm will be possible through the partnership of Grupo Bimbo with DEMEX (Mexican Wind Farm Developments), an affiliate of the Spanish company Renovalia Energy.

Grupo Bimbo has focused its attention on the implementation of wind energy to comply with the group’s permanent commitment to the environment and to the well-being of future generations. "The construction of this wind farm is the cornerstone in our effort to continue growing with nature’s force; making us the first company in the food industry to make this great change to use renewable energy sources," said Servitje. "It represents an unprecedented effort in the use of renewable, clean and virtually endless energy: The green energy," Servitje added.

The chairman of Renovalia Energy, Juan Domingo Ortega Martinez, said, "This construction constitutes a landmark in the expansion policy of renewable energies in Mexico. The total investment for wind turbines project is approximately US$ 200 million. This wind farm will begin commercial operations for Grupo Bimbo at the end of 2011."

Dr. Georgina Kessel said, "There is no question that these types of actions contribute to reaching the goal of substituting clean energies. The challenge in Mexico is to make better use of this type of energy to strengthen the country’s power safety, and consolidating at the same time, active work to face climate change."

According to Dr. Kessel, "These actions will allow the country to obtain a total of 35 percent of power generation with clean energies by 2024."

"Grupo Bimbo is constantly trying to reduce its environmental footprint, that is why it operates under the highest performance standards," said Servitje. "This is an effort we have been carrying out for 10 years and is gaining more importance within our five axes of environmental sustainability: energy savings, water savings, emissions reduction, waste management and social entrepreneurial responsibility."

"Grupo Bimbo has had a role in the GEI Mexico Program since 2005. This year, for the fifth consecutive year, Grupo Bimbo has been acknowledged by SEMARNAT for declaring and publishing the GEI inventory of all its facilities and vehicles in Mexico and for the effort it has made to decrease its emissions," said Luis Rene Martinez Souverville, Grupo Bimbo corporate affairs director.