A cogeneration plant producing electricity and steam will be constructed at the site of a refinery in southern Mexico owned by Pemex Refinación, a subsidiary of state-owned oil and gas company Pemex.

Spain's Abengoa and Italy's Enel Green Power announced on Tuesday that they had been jointly selected by Pemex to develop a 517 MW cogeneration power plant at the Antonio Dovalí Jaime refinery in the area of Salina Cruz, in Mexico's Oaxaca state. Abengoa said that the project will require an investment of $950 million.

The new plant will supply power to the refinery, with excess power being sold in the market.

The cogeneration process simultaneously produces electricity and thermal power from a single fuel source, such as natural gas, using the heat that would otherwise be lost. This improves its thermal efficiency or results in higher heat values, as well as significantly reducing carbon dioxide emissions, Abengoa and Enel explained.

One of the aims of the project is to develop a plant that generates competitive, stable and sustainable power, helping the Mexican government achieve its target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 50 percent by 2050.

The construction, operation and maintenance of the plant will also be a catalyst for regional socio-economic development, creating direct and indirect jobs and generating a network of services that will support economic growth in the area. Pemex expects the project to create about 1,500 jobs.

Pemex also announced this week a new agreement with Blackstone's Global Water Development Partners to develop water and wastewater infrastructure for its upstream and downstream facilities in Mexico.