- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
(Writes through with details on scope of outage)
MEXICO CITY, Feb 15 (Reuters) - A cold snap knocked outpower for 4.7 million users in northern Mexico early on Monday,triggering a scramble by authorities to restore service andbring in extra fuel, with parts of the neighboring United Statesalso hit hard.
Frozen pipelines and a squeeze on natural gas deliveriesfrom Texas roiled several northern states, though by midday,service had been restored to 58% of the affected supply, Mexicannational electricity grid operator CENACE said.
The outage hit about 6,950 megawatts of load, CENACE said,urging people in the states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango,Nuevo Leon, Sinaloa, Sonora and Tamaulipas to curb power usage.
The freeze also knocked out electricity for more than 2million customers in Texas.
Guillermo Nevarez, a senior executive at state power utilitythe Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE), said 4.7 millionusers had initially been affected by the outage and by aroundmidday, service had been restored to almost 2.6 million of them.
The CFE vowed to use energy from other sources to help covershortfalls, and said the recent spike in natural gas pricescaused by the crunch would add 20 billion pesos to its costs.But users' electricity rates should not be affected, it said.
To help offset the U.S. natural gas shortfall, two shipmentswould arrive in the ports of Manzanillo and Altamira in the nextfew days, said Miguel Reyes, another senior CFE executive,speaking at a virtual news conference with Nevarez.
Earlier, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador dismissedsuggestions the outage could be linked to a "boycott" by privatepower generators upset at his plan to strengthen the CFE.
An energy nationalist, Lopez Obrador wants to bolster statecontrol of the industry, arguing that previous governmentsskewed the power market in favor of the private sector.
In late December, an outage in Mexico left 10.3 millionusers without power for up to two hours.(Reporting by Sharay Angulo; Writing by Dave Graham; Editing byRichard Chang and Sonya Hepinstall)