efe-epaMexico City

Mexico's government on Wednesday celebrated Spanish electric utility Iberdrola's plans to invest up to $5 billion in the Aztec nation during President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's six-year term.

It said those outlays would contribute to the country's development.

"This investment they're announcing today reflects the confidence that investors have in our country, which translates into greater wellbeing for those who have less," the presidential chief of staff, Alfonso Romo, said after meeting with Iberdrola's chairman and CEO, Ignacio Galan, who is visiting Mexico.

Romo, who also is president of the Council for the Promotion of Investment, Employment and Economic Growth, was quoted as saying in a joint bulletin by the government and Iberdrola that he is convinced that public and private cooperation is key to Mexican growth.

The CEO of Iberdrola, whose presence in Mexico dates back two decades, outlined the company's plans to invest $5 billion through the end of 2024 during his meeting Wednesday at the National Palace with Romo.

He also confirmed Iberdrola Mexico's interest and confidence in Mexico's economy and said the company was attracted by a favorable investment climate.

"We're firmly committed to Mexico's energy and economic development, the strengthening of its industrial sector and the creation of quality jobs. Always through the most efficient and clean energy sources," Galan added.

The company plans to invest up to $5 billion in new power plants, both gas-fired and renewable generation facilities, during the 2019-2024 period to meet Mexico's growing energy demand.

Iberdrola's investment commitment is one of the first tangible results achieved by the council, which was launched in February to bring together public and private interests.

Thousands of jobs will be created during the construction phase of the new projects, adding to the 25,000 jobs the company has created over the past five years.

A total of 450 people will be employed directly and 2,500 indirect jobs will be created during the operation phase of these plants, according to official estimates.

The leading Spanish energy group also will contribute to Mexico's economic growth by making purchases totaling more than $3 billion from Mexico's industrial sector.

In 2019, the company will complete work on five new plants and start construction on three power stations: a combined-cycle plant in Tuxpan (Veracruz state), a co-generation plant in San Juan del Rio (Queretaro state) and a solar park in the state of Puebla.

In total, those three power stations will have an investment cost of $1 billion and installed capacity of 1.5 gigawatts (GW).

Iberdrola Mexico currently has 20 power plants in 13 states with a combined installed capacity of 7.4 GW. Around 60 percent of those plants supply electricity to private clients.

Iberdrola, which has a presence in Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States and Brazil, employs 1,300 people in Mexico.

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