Jorge Salas
Energy Management Manager
Volkswagen de México
View from the Top

Energy-Saving Goals a Positive Challenge

Tue, 03/10/2020 - 17:46

Q: What is the status of Volkswagen de México’s goal to reduce energy consumption in 2017 and 2018?

A: The percentage performance we have achieved since the establishment of these goals has been positive. At the end of July 2017, our reduction stood at 37 percent. Once the goals for 2018 are fully accomplished, Volkswagen will establish new indicators in line with the company’s Transform 2025+ strategy. Transform 2025+ poses a new positive challenge for us: to achieve a 45 percent reduction in our environmental indicators compared to a 2010 baseline by 2025. All our efforts will be directed toward achieving this new goal.

Q: How does Volkswagen de México ensure that the best energy-saving solutions are implemented at its plants?

A: Constant communication with other Volkswagen plants allows us to exchange best practices among different regions. Once a success story has been identified in one factory, we analyze the feasibility of replicating it. The same goes for success stories that happen in our factories in Mexico. The energy-saving measures implemented may or may not require the exchange of technology but we analyze every measure to determine its technical and economical feasibility. In this sense, we turn to technologies that are commonly used in the industry, such as frequency shifters for motor applications and efficient lighting, among others.

One specific challenge regarding our goals for energy savings in gas and electricity is related to nonproduction periods, which usually happen over the weekend. We face this challenge mainly by early identification of the processes that must continue operating during nonproductive times as well as making consumption more efficient for those essential operations. Through these measures, we optimize start-up times for the whole installation. Another measure is to reduce gas consumption to a minimum during periods of rest, which allows us to keep operating equipment that requires continuous input. This measure helps us to have the equipment ready during the restart of operations, therefore consuming less time and gas.

Q: What is the status of Volkswagen de México’s PPA with México Power Group?

A: México Power Group has informed us that the construction of La Bufa wind farm, located in Zacatecas, is complete. The next stage is to liberalize the final administrative paperwork so that the energy can begin flowing. The energy provided by the wind farm is directly connected to the National Electricity System, and therefore complies with all the technical specifications required by both CFE and CENACE. Based on the energy requirements of the automotive and engine plants located in Puebla and Silao, we are analyzing and evaluating different renewable energy projects. The options include, but are not limited to, PPAs.

Q: How is Volkswagen de México developing a more energy-efficient value chain?

A: As a corporate citizen, Volkswagen de México takes part in different forums organized by institutions such as the Ministry of Energy, CONUEE and CAMEXA. During these forums relevant themes are discussed, including the energy agenda and changes to the regulatory framework. There is also an exchange of experiences and best practices.

We are analyzing the possibility of taking part in “Learning Networks,” which is supported by CONUEE, with the objective of promoting the efficient use of energy resources along our value chain.