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Roundtable

How Are You Introducing Cleaner Tech or Energy Efficiency?

Wed, 02/22/2017 - 12:04

Mexico’s manufacturers are known for quality and competitive costs. But a rise in global competition is pushing Mexican plants to become even more efficient. Reducing energy costs is one way for companies to achieve greater efficiency, particularly considering that industrial electricity tariffs are more expensive than in the US. Investing in energy efficient technologies and distributed power generation are two of the strategies used.

 

Adriana Macouzet

President and Director General
PPG Mexico and North Latin America

We develop solutions that help optimize our client’s paint usage, reduce volatile emissions and lower energy consumption. When a new automotive assembly plant is built the area that requires the largest investment is the paint shop. This section uses more water and energy than the rest of the assembly plant so any contribution we can offer makes a huge difference. Normally, cars need at least four coats: electrophoretic protection, a surface primer, color and finally the clear coat. Between these layers there needs to be a baking process, resulting in at least three bakes for each car. Our goal is to reduce the baking processes to lower gas and energy consumption, as well as paint and water usage. Our B1:B2 compact process eliminates the surface primer and one of the bakes.

Ángel de Lope

Ángel de Lope

General Manager
Kaeser Compresores de México

In simple terms, our products provide more compressed air using less energy. Sometimes compressors have the largest electrical motors in the production plant and can represent about 40 percent or more of its total electricity consumption. Therefore, electricity savings in compressors are crucial to the competitiveness of manufacturing plants. While our equipment is more expensive than that of the competition, the cost of any equipment over 10 years can be divided into 15 percent initial investment, 15 percent spent on maintenance over that time period and 70 percent on power consumption. Our products provide much higher energy efficiency than our competitors’ units so clients can recover their initial investment quickly. Sometimes it may be more cost effective to replace an older compressor for a newer version as maintenance costs increase and functionality decreases.

ANDREAS HINRICHS

Andreas Hinrichs

CEO
Volkswagen de México

With Think Blue. Factory., Volkswagen launched the first holistic environmental program in automobile production. Since its introduction, resources have been used more efficiently and emissions reduced in all Volkswagen factories around the world. From 2010 to 2015, our environmental impact has been reduced worldwide by 25.3 percent per vehicle or component produced. Volkswagen de México has contributed to this goal by lowering its main environmental indicators. Those limited were energy consumption and solvent emissions. We generated 6.29kg of waste per unit manufactured in 2010. In 2015, the waste generated was almost zero

BJOERN ELLER CFO of Covestro

Bjoern Eller

CFO
Covestro

Our global strategies focus on megatrends such as scarcity of fossil fuels resources, urbanization and the onset of climate change. We help our customers design and develop innovative products that reflect these issues and promote sustainable applications. We believe sustainability should be considered at the early stages of every production process. For example, substituting glass for polycarbonate reduces the weight of automotive components by almost half. About 15 percent of a car was made with plastics in 2015. Studies show that by 2020 this percentage will grow to 25. Our intention is to produce more environmentally friendly plastics by reducing waste during manufacturing processes. We are using more efficient technologies that consume significantly less energy than traditional processes.

SERGIO ARGÜELLES

Sergio Argüelles

President and CEO
FINSA

Our huge client base demands high electricity volumes. One of our main objectives is finding a supply source at a stable and competitive price. There are various infrastructure groups developing projects involving solar and co-generation. However, FINSA is still evaluating how it can best offer these solutions while ensuring added benefits to its clients. We have evaluated the possibility of owning power generation infrastructure but have not yet solved the question of distribution. The federal government has adapted Mexico’s structural reforms and we now have a good base for future planning. The country is a sound investment hub and the market has become less dependent on oil and gas.

ODÓN DE BUEN Director General of CONUEE

Odón de Buen

Director General
CONUEE

One thing that happened because of the Energy Reform is the drop in electricity prices, which is good for the economy but makes energy-efficiency investments less cost-effective. Technology is also evolving rapidly to boost energy-efficiency solutions. For instance, in street lighting we have contributed to the development of 28 systems that are now operating and saving around 38 percent electricity consumption on average. With the Internet of ThingsO you can reach up to 80 percent power because it is not just making a lamp more effective but you can remotely control its usage patterns. The savings come not only from energy but from operational efficiency and environmental impact as well.

ROBERTO CANTÚ Director General of Roca Desarrollos

Roberto Cantú

Director General
Roca Desarrollos

The industrial real estate segment needs energy availability. Mexico is still lacking investment to supply industrial zones with enough energy at a higher rate. We may be able to find plots of land but if the infrastructure is not present to accompany the operations, they become unfeasible for us. Sometimes constructing the right energy infrastructure can be more expensive than buying the land. As CFE is a publicly owned company, it is the sole responsible authority for this. There is no question that the government needs to improve its offering and push for advanced investment capabilities from public agencies