Energéticas – Juan Carlos Hernández Nájera, Director General – Mexico
By offering energy efficient, virtually maintenance-free and environmentally friendly power generation solutions, Juan Hernández demonstrates the rewards of cutting-edge technologies and describes the company’s value added proposition for a cleaner and greener, yet more cost-effective, oil industry.
Could you introduce Industrias Energéticas to our readers?
Industrias Energéticas provides solutions applying of cutting edge technology for integral power generation specifically for use in the oil and gas industry. We are recognized distributors of Capstone Turbine Corporation, the world’s leading producer of low-emission microturbine systems.
These new systems are certified by United Laboratories (UL) and have been subject to scrutiny and approval by international agencies such as the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Commission for the Efficient Use of Energy (CONUEE) the Ministry of Energy (SENER), Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) and Trust for Saving Electricity (FIDE). The advanced engineering behind these MicroTurbines, associated with the high levels of efficiency and ultra-low emissions, has created a burgeoning global demand for these products that is often described as a technological phenomenon in harmony with the environment.
The first time we met with you a couple of years ago, the company was focused on the offshore segment of the oil and gas industry. How has Industrias Energéticas evolved since then?
Because tides are rapidly changing within the energy industry, our new strategy has lead us to develop the market in the onshore oil and gas industry. One of the key advantages of Capstone MicroTurbines is the flexibility to operate with a variety of gaseous or liquid fuels, giving them a wide range of applicability. One of our main areas of application now for us is in the exploration and exploitation of Mexican shale gas fields. For instance, Industrias Energéticas works on power generation for oil equipment and secondary oil recovery systems, among others. Oil refineries, pipeline stations and terrestrial and offshore platforms also use our power generation equipment.
Although in the past we primarily catered to the offshore industry, we have been focusing on onshore services in more recent times. In our experience, this has been a highly efficient source of oil and gas with a lot of activity. In fact, up to 90% of Capstone’s revenue stems from the onshore segment upstream industry worldwide.
Today, we are working in a number of areas in Mexico’s oil and gas value chain. Among these is a large project initiated by Pemex, in collaboration with a number of private companies, to construct a web of onshore pipelines to transport gas across the country. In addition to that, we are also working on three major projects in our country with two different consortiums as well as a joint venture with Pemex. Furthermore, we have another joint venture with a company known as Oro Negro; one of Mexico’s flagship oil and gas services companies. Numerous companies are looking to invest in Mexico’s oil and gas industry and our technology allows them to do so in a low-cost and environmentally conscious manner. Our power generation solutions offer just that.
Industrias Energéticas has clearly drawn much attention in a short period. How the company is preparing for the next phase of its development?
Besides the numerous quality and environmental certifications and recognitions we’ve obtained, internally, we are gaining a lot of professional experience by training our personnel with intensive courses on the latest scientific and technological developments. The key idea here is to instil within our technicians and engineers a greater degree of knowledge about the manufacturing process of our turbines in order to be able to deliver comprehensive quality services. Among our key priorities is investing in our pool of talents; to develop their capabilities while promoting a collaborative culture within our organization that encourages cooperation and knowledge transfer. Each member of Industrias Energéticas goes through a long training process and any graduate engineer that joins our team requires at least a years’ training to be able to service our MicroTurbine systems. Each employee needs to take between 12 and 14 courses to ensure optimal skills development.
What makes your microturbines the more viable option?
Perhaps, one of the most important aspects of Capstone microturbines is that they are environmentally friendly. These microturbines have just one moving part – no gearbox or other mechanicals – and use no lubricants, grease or hazardous materials, resulting in minimal maintenance while providing reliable, high performance. By integrating an aero-based turbine engine, a magnetic generator, advanced power electronics, and air bearing technology, Capstone microturbines are an ideal solution that electrical power distribution needs today.
Another key virtue of this technology is its flexibility to operate on a variety of gaseous or liquid fuels. In other words, our turbines can run with wellhead gas (unprocessed) and natural gas extracted from production assets as well as other liquid fuels. Our microturbine systems even run with flared gas, making energy literally free of cost! This is much more cost-efficient than conventional generators, which represent a lot of maintenance costs, parts and manpower. You then have the factor of the fuel costs.
Our microturbines’ maintenance costs are virtually zero. The lifespan of our products is 20 years, working at full power whilst with regular generators, it’s only of a couple years. It’s clean and cheap energy that pays for itself in about a year!
Why are customers only now noticing the potential of the products you offer?
The main reason is because in the near past, conditions were not optimal. There were few gas pipeline pump stations, for instance, required to power their transportation across the country. Private and public investment in new pipelines were almost non-existent. Our recent agreements with Pemex have allowed us to participate in new gasducts projects that have created a significant demand for our products. On a regular basis, we work along with pipeline construction companies to provide them with modular power solutions. To illustrate, on average, for every 62 miles of pipeline, one microturbine will be needed to ensure that the necessary power is supplied for the entire instrumentation system, pump houses, monitoring systems, etc…
With a wide portfolio of products, suited for each application needs, and environment benefits, we expect to see a sustained rise in demand for our solutions, particularly because the Mexican energy industry is opened to international investment.
How would you describe Mexico’s attitude towards the clean and efficient use of energy?
When we met a couple years ago, one of our key challenges was convincing clients to use our products because they were more on the premium side of power generation solutions and the regulations to promote the use of cleaner sources of power were lacking. Of course, we exerted a lot of effort into educating prospective clients not only of the environmental benefits of Capstone microturbines, but also of their capacity to significantly reduce costs by reducing consumption as well as maintenance costs.
With the enactment of the energy reforms, Mexico today, has fortunately made a meaningful shift towards more environmentally conscious solutions for the extraction and consumption of energy which, in fact, go hand in hand with each other. We are excited about the new regulations introduced by the energy reforms which seek to promote cleaner and greener practices. The environmentally friendly legislation will finally put an end to the ‘diesel-spilling’ culture that prevailed in the past when companies opted, for example, use the cheapest equipment which often was extremely polluting and wasteful.